By - Danielle Duignan

The Fundamentals of Community Solar Design and Implementation
August 22-23, 2016 | Chicago, IL

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The growth of solar development and strong renewable energy mandates has created both a dilemma and an opportunity for utilities and independent project developers. In several jurisdictions, where the growth of solar is catching on rapidly and approaching “grid parity”, a majority of prospective customers either do not own their residence or do not have a rooftop sufficient to accommodate solar panels. To some degree, this limits development opportunities for that critical part of the solar market between residential and large (utility-) scale.

As a means to address this situation, some states have developed structures to support the concept of community, or shared, solar. They have created a regulatory framework whereby off-site solar generation projects can be developed that allow multiple customers to essentially subscribe to receive the resulting clean power. Utilities, project developers and/or community organizations can work within established state guidelines to provide solar generated power to customers who would otherwise be unable to participate. This approach appeals to a broad range of prospective developers:

  • For utilities, as a more “efficient” way of delivering solar power to residential customers than the more typical rooftop-by-rooftop customer approach
  • For third-party developers, as an opportunity to leverage their resources to multiply their customer base in an economically efficient manner
  • For non-profits, non-government organizations (NGOs) and community associations as a way of serving their constituencies and organizational missions

This symposium will spell out the elements that shared and community solar garden programs need to address to satisfy the requirements for a successful offering.  It will examine each component in detail, and explore how the structures must adapt and operate under different state legislative and regulatory constructs. It will sort through the regulatory process of the various mechanisms and provide a tutorial for the implementation of the community solar program by the utility.

Learning Outcomes

Through presentations and panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity at this symposium to:

  • Review the states that have established regulations for the development of shared/ community solar gardens, and where that development is most active
  • Appraise the elements common to shared/community solar gardens, where they differ, and which result in the most prolific development results
  • Identify how each type of developer must shape its development approach to shared/community solar gardens
  • Examine the salient aspects of shared/community solar gardens program design
  • Discuss the important marketing components that drive shared/community solar gardens program subscriptions
  • Assess the important regulatory and consumer protections elements of shared/community solar gardens



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 credits for this event.


Monday, August 22, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Introduction and Overview

8:45 – 10:00 a.m.

I. Can One Program Design Fit All States?

  • What is happening and where?
  • Role of the state legislature vs role of utility commission

II. Common Elements

  • Creation of a program framework
  • Interconnection process
  • Ownership structure of project

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

III. Variable Elements

  • Components vs REC attributes
  • Subscription model
  • Development scale
  • Buyback rate
    • Value of solar
    • Average retail
    • Net billing
    • Net energy
    • Wholesale generation

12:00 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:15 – 3:00 p.m.

IV. The Roles of the Utility, the Solar Developer and the Consumer

  • Types of community solar development
  • Developer as intermediary between utility and consumer
  • Explanation of concept to customers
  • Services contracted with property address or property occupant

V. Program Design

  • Customer offer
  • Initial payment
  • What is leased or owned
  • Impact on bill
  • Billing changes over time
  • Duration of contract
  • Incentive
  • Siting and scale
  • Participation usage and capacity limit
  • Environmental attributes
  • Production guarantee
  • Subscription transfer policy
  • Unsubscribed energy
  • Pricing
  • Virtual net metering

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. ::Afternoon Break

3:15 – 5:15 p.m.

V. Program Design (Continued)


Tuesday,  August 23, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

VI. Marketing Components

  • Consumer choice modeling
  • Consumer categories
    • Residential-focused
    • Commercial-focused
    • Blended focus

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

VII. Customer Fulfillment

  • Monitoring components
  • Consumer protection requirements

11:45 a.m. :: Symposium Adjourns


Kevin Brehm, Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Becky Campbell, Manager - Markets, Origination and Government Affairs, First Solar

Tom Cooper, Director - Client Solutions, Pacific Consulting Group

James Duffy, Partner - Renewable Energy Tax Credit Team , Nixon Peabody LLP

Betsy Engelking, Vice President, Geronimo Energy

Molly Hoyt, Manager - Community Renewables, Pacific Gas & Electric

Tom Hunt, Senior VP of Corporate Development /Chief of Staff, Clean Energy Collective (CEC)

Marc Romito, Director - Customer Technology, Arizona Public Service (APS)

Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher - Energy & Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute

Scott Vogt, Vice President - Energy Acquisition, ComEd

Shannon Wagner, Strategic Research & Innovation Manager - Product Development, CPS Energy


Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago
163 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611

To reserve your room, please call 1-312-751-8100
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $179.00 single or double


A room block has been reserved for the nights of August 21 – 23, 2016.


Make your reservations prior to August 1, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


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