New Model Rules for Shared Renewables

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Give every American a chance to choose solar – sounds straightforward, right? While the basic concept is a no-brainer, the policy details to make it happen can get pretty complicated. That’s where IREC’s new Model Program Rules for Shared Renewable Energy come in.

Released last week, the updated model rules serve as a starting point for states, communities, and utilities interested in launching shared renewables programs – the model that gives millions of American homes and businesses a way to choose solar for the first time.

Shared renewable energy allows multiple customers to share the power and bill-saving benefits of a single solar energy system via their individual utility bills. This visionary approach to clean energy is being rolled out in different forms by pioneering lawmakers, regulators and utilities across the country — and there are plenty of lesson being learned along the way.

There is no need for others to reinvent the wheel when we now have real legislative and regulatory experience to draw upon. We worked closely with IREC so that these model rules reflect best practices and lessons learned. Consider them your guidebook to shared renewables success!

We hosted a webinar on June 26 to preview the model rules. We talked through the opportunity shared renewables presents, how shared renewables relates to other programs including net metering and green tariffs, and the core components to consider when designing shared renewables programs. Here are the slides and recording for your viewing pleasure:

This update to IREC’s original model rules, which were published in 2010, includes a handy chart outlining policy design options.

Some highlights from the webinar:

Fun Fact: If just 5% of American households subscribed to 5kW of a shared solar system, it would mean 28GW of new clean energy for our country – that’s equivalent to the output of more than 50 coal plants!

What makes a good shared renewables program? This graphic illustrates IREC’s 4 guiding principles for shared renewables.

So get yourself a coffee and read the model rules. And for more info on shared renewables policy and projects across the country at sharedrenewables.org.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. This model is obviously interesting, but not if it distracts people from doing what they should be doing.

    Since for most folk their home is the biggest investment of their lives, and they can improve the value of it by coming closer and closer to net-zero, their primary focus, and their best investment opportunity is in renewable infrastructure for their home, and not by participating in unrelated projects of this nature, unless it can be integrated in their primary home energy project.

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