Clean Energy Ambassadors

Making Clean Energy Work for Consumer-Owned Utilities and Their Communities

November Webinar

Please join CEA and the Community Solar Value Project on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at Noon Central/11 Am Mountain for a free webinar on Community Solar Programs for Low Income Customers. Guest speakers are from Grid Alternatives and Solar Holler, which includes a demand-response benefit as well as shared solar.

To register, please go to:

For more info contact Emily at or


Monthly Webinars now available as Podcasts!

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Link to Western Area Power Administration's Energy Experts


Blog Posts

The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful About Target Marketing

The October 2015 webinar, cosponsored by Clean Energy Ambassadors and the Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) asks participants to imagine a time when community solar projects will appeal to a huge market, for dozens of specific reasons, instead of just the so called Early Adopters. That latter group initiated community solar, such as the first documented community solar program, in Ellensburg, Washington. In 2006, the municipal utility there offered shares of a 36-kW solar project, at a cost to participants that promised virtually no payback at all. (A back of the envelope calculation estimated 75 years.) People signed up because they cared. They wanted to bring solar to their community, and to express concern for the environment. Within a few years, Ellensburg began working with partners who made new phases more economical. But still, until recently, community solar has been aimed at green movers and shakers.

How might community-solar marketing change as we go from 70 MW…


Posted by Jill K. Cliburn on October 16, 2015 at 5:05pm

Try the New Math: Solar Plus Demand Response Plus Storage

Clean Energy Ambassadors is partnering with the Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) on another fascinating webinar. The CSVP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help utilities to understand and improve community solar program design. Our next webinar, September 24 at noon Central time will explore an exciting value-added strategy-- using demand response and storage to "balance" the natural variability of solar and to improve cost effectiveness for both the customer and the utility. This is a fast-emerging strategy. You may have heard about it done at the regional level, by private demand-response and storage "aggregators." But the strategy also works well at the local level. It has been demonstrated in whole or in part by utilities and small communities in the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada, among other regions. Hear plain-talking technical experts from CSVP partner Olivine explain how common demand response programs, from air conditioning cycling to…


Posted by Jill K. Cliburn on September 17, 2015 at 7:32pm

CFC and NRCO Secure Tax Equity to Support More Than $100 Million in Electric Co-op Solar Projects

Over $100 Million in tax equity is now available for rural electric co-ops investing in solar projects.

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) and the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) recently signed an agreement with an investor that will make solar projects more affordable for co-ops. The agreement provides tax credits for utility-scale, cooperative-sponsored and cooperative-owned solar projects ranging in size from 1 MW to 50 MW.

You can read more about this agreement here:

Posted by Emma Weiss-Burns on August 6, 2015 at 3:38pm

Save the Dates! New Webinar Series with Community Solar Value Project!

We are pleased to announce that  the Community Solar Value Project and Clean Energy Ambassadors are working together to produce a series of free webinars and discussions among utility leaders and key stakeholders on different aspects of this challenge: to make community solar better. The series will discuss better solar project design and procurement, ways to address solar variability by using demand response and storage companion measures, program design for targeted customer appeals, and win-win programs for low-income communities.

There will be 5 webinars this fall: 

Thursday August 27; Noon Central Better Community Solar Procurement and Design (Click here to register for the 8/27 webinar).

Thursday September 24; Noon Central How Demand Response and Storage Measures Address Solar Variability and Add Value …


Posted by Emily Stark on August 4, 2015 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

New Resources for Community Energy Planning

Community energy planning is not a new idea, but it's back in the news lately, as local leaders everywhere try to ease the pinch of higher gas prices and to create more green jobs. If your community is ready to visit--or revisit--this important topic, CEA can offer helpful advice and references! Here is a sampling:
One new release: the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has a new report: Local Energy Planning in Practice: A Review of Recent Experiences.It looks at the work of local governments which, like Arlington County, Virginia, have developed plans to capture these benefits for their communities. We're impressed that the ACEEE team has applied knowledege and tools that have been around for decades, to try to come up with a "best practices" strategy for today.


Another source of inspiration is the website of the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference. This is now an annual conference, which is largely focused on local planning in action. That is, what kinds of local programs and activities might you aim for, considering which have proven exciting and successful already? See and don't miss the YouTube videos of conference "lightening presentations". Also, look for a trend among presentations that use social networking, competitions, and other new marketing techniques. CEA has tapped these resources from time to time for our own work.
This full factsheet will be updated and posted in the Forum Section soon-- Check back next month or drop us a line through the Member Messages tool!






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