SOURCE: Clean Energy Collective

Clean Energy Collective

October 23, 2014 06:32 ET

Clean Energy Collective Awarded U.S. Department of Energy Funds to Create National Community Solar Platform

Broad Access to Proven Solar Development Resources to Reduce Costs, Facilitate Adoption

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwired - October 23, 2014) - The U.S. Department of Energy announced that Clean Energy Collective (CEC), the nation's leading provider of community solar, has been selected to receive a $700,000 SunShot Initiative cooperative award to develop and implement the National Community Solar Platform (NCSP) -- a centralized web platform which will provide broad access to information and market-proven tools to make community solar development easier, cheaper, faster, and widely scalable. Community solar is a proven solution to expedite renewable energy adoption throughout the country.

"This initiative is a natural extension of our mission to make solar available to the masses," said Paul Spencer, CEC's Founder and CEO. "The NCSP will soon provide tools and resources to anyone wishing to build their own community solar solution -- even if they don't have any prior experience."

The community solar model is attracting significant attention from utilities, consumers and solar advocacy groups because its ability to deliver renewable energy to the masses affordably and painlessly. As with any solution, however, community solar is not without its challenges. A successful program fully addresses complex, unexpected issues such as securities law, tax law, electronic on-bill crediting solutions, state and federal law, and land use issues.

Removing Barriers Unlocks Development Potential

The Energy Department recognizes the opportunity to significantly accelerate the pace of community solar proliferation by facilitating broad availability to market-proven development standards and protocols. Through this SunShot award, the Energy Department will work in partnership with CEC to simplify these complexities by establishing a centralized, open-access portal that will provide the tools necessary to successfully implement a community solar solution. The NCSP will provide developers, EPCs, utilities, and community solar organizers open access to the tools and resources essential to a successful community solar project. Access to these resources will drive down costs, ensure quality programs, encourage participation, and make community solar a practical solution for anyone seeking to create their own program. Ultimately, the NCSP will make community solar broadly available across the United States.

CEC will develop and test the NCSP over the next 18 months, with tools becoming available as they are built.

About Clean Energy Collective
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is the nation's leading developer of community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. Since establishing the first community-owned solar garden in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado, CEC has built or has under development more than 40 community solar projects with 18 utility partners across 8 states, representing more than 36 MW of community solar capacity. www.easycleanenergy.com

About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.

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