Community Solar: Massive New Market Opportunity
Recorded on Wednesday, September 19, 2012:
1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern Time
Community, or shared, solar is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry, and for good reason. Right now, up to 75% of business and residential customers can't access solar, due to roof access or credit issues. Shared solar plants "virtually" credit a subscriber’s bill, avoiding the need for a physical connection.
But that barrier is coming down all across the country, creating a massive new market opportunity. Community shared solar is currently legal in nine states, and is about to move into prime time with the expected passage this fall of a blockbuster 2GW program in California.
Learn about the opportunities, and the risks, of virtual PPAs, from two people who know this new market intimately. For more than a decade, Matt Cheney has owned and operated the country's first community shared solar plant, PVUSA outside Davis, CA. Tom Price leads the team working to draft and pass SB 843, the California Community Shared Solar bill, and is working on similar legislation in New York.
Matt Cheney, Chief Executive Officer, CleanPath
Tom Price, Director, Policy and Market Strategies, CleanPath
Matt Cheney oversees the strategic direction of the firm. He is the former CEO of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, the United States based wholly-owned subsidiary of Fotowatio, a global solar Independent Power Producer. In 2009 Mr. Cheney helped to manage the acquisition by Fotowatio of MMA Renewable Ventures, where he was the current CEO. MMA Renewable Ventures (MMA RV) focused on the development, ownership and operation of a multi-million dollar portfolio of large and distributed scale solar, wind, biomass and energy efficiency project investments, and was the first independent syndicator of Solar Tax Equity funds in the US. MMA RV syndicated 50 renewable energy projects in five separate funds during Mr. Cheney’s tenure. Prior to MMA RV, Mr. Cheney was the CEO of NUON Renewable Ventures USA, LLC, while he served as Director of North American Business Development for NUON NV in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In that role, he developed and implemented NUON’s North American renewable energy investment strategy. In addition, Mr. Cheney managed U.S. mergers and acquisitions as a member of NUON’s global M&A team. Mr. Cheney himself took NUON Renewable Ventures private in 2004 under the name of Renewable Ventures LLC. Mr. Cheney has more than twenty-five years in the fields of civil engineering, energy, and environment, including experience with the U.S. Agency for International Development in South America, the National Rural electric Co-op Association’s International programs, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group, now the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Mr. Cheney has a Bachelor’s from the American University and a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, both in Washington D. C.
Tom Price heads the policy and market strategies development for CleanPath, focusing on speeding the adoption of distributed consumption (commonly known as Community Solar), and on removing barriers to the adoption of renewable energy. Recent work including helping draft and pass legislation exempting solar from property tax in Nevada, as well as legislation allowing 3rd party renewables ownership. Prior to joining CleanPath, Mr. Price founded and led a non-profit which built over 1MW of PV for schools, hospitals, and other community entities. He spent seven years as a freelance journalist covering environmental issues, and almost a decade as an environmental advocate in Washington, DC. He served as Chairman of the Environmental Advisory Committee to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Utah, and lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley.
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