Clear Sky Tampa Bay2021-07-06T13:44:58-04:00

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Staff Contacts

Alana Todd
Environmental Planner
(727) 570-5151 ext. 40

PRESS RELEASE

Clear Sky Tampa Bay

A Resilience-Based Siting Toolkit for Solar+Storage

A resource to assess the feasibility of commercial-scale solar+storage to support public safety, disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery objectives.

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: 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.

Solar Energy Innovation Network

Clear Sky Tampa Bay Team

Lead Organization:  Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
Local Government Partners:  Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, City of Largo
Academic Partner:  University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability
Technical Advisor:  Converge Strategies

Clear Sky Toolkit

The Clear Sky Tampa Bay hosted a webinar on June 30, 2021 for the pre-release of the Clear Sky Toolkit which was developed through Round 2 of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Energy Innovation Program. The Clear Sky Toolkit is composed of regionally applicable resources to assess the feasibility of commercial-scale solar + storage to support public safety, disaster preparedness, and post-disaster recovery objectives.

The Clear Sky Tampa Bay team shared the process of developing these resources and ways for users to apply the Clear Sky Toolkit within their own community to strengthen energy and overall community resilience. County and City government partners shared lessons learned about energy resilience within their jurisdictions and tips for other users of the Clear Sky Toolkit more broadly. This webinar should be attended by anyone seeking to improve the resilience of communities through targeted applications of solar + storage technology on critical facilities.

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