Clear Sky Tampa Bay
Clear Sky Tampa Bay
Developing a Resilience-Based Siting and Valuation Toolkit for Solar+Storage and Microgrids
Long-lasting power outages caused by hurricanes and other disasters have major impacts on communities and local economies. Leading organizations and energy agencies across the country are working to evaluate the role of solar energy and battery storage on specific buildings to improve local community resilience goals.
An innovative project, led by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to participate in a collaborative research effort to develop novel applications of solar energy. NREL is leading the Solar Energy Innovation Network with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. NREL pursues fundamental research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to transform the way we use energy.
“We selected teams that are experimenting with promising ideas to assess the use of solar power, such as for resilience in commercial-scale applications,” said Eric Lockhart, who leads the Innovation Network at NREL. “The work of these teams will provide a blueprint and useful resources for other communities.”
Clear Sky Tampa Bay Team
Lead Organization: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
Local Government Partners: Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, City of Largo
Private Sector Partner: Solar Energy Management, LLC
Academic Partner: University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability
Clear Sky Tampa Bay is creating a regional technical and economic framework for integrating disaster risk reduction and other resilience factors into solar-plus-storage siting and cost-benefit analyses.
Recent technical reports produced by NREL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and other institutions have identified the need to create a consistent framework for assessing and defining the value of disaster resilience benefits. For example, assessments could look at shelters, refrigerated warehouses which store medicine or food, and municipal buildings and critical infrastructure.
Clear Sky Tampa Bay: Commercial-Scale Solar Cohort
Clear Sky Tampa Bay is one of eight teams from around the country that are implementing creative ideas to use solar power in rural communities or in commercial-scale application. Common themes include solar plus storage, community solar, resilience benefits of solar, and the value of solar in distributed systems—though each team is pursuing its own approach.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Rocky Mountain Institute are helping the eight teams realize and demonstrate these novel, often never-before-tried applications with extensive analytical and modeling support and facilitated stakeholder engagement. The second round of the Solar Energy Innovation Network is expected to run through 2021 and conclude with a symposium at which teams will present their findings to organizations interested in similar efforts.