Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia

 

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia's (CICV) Solar Market Pathways project is bringing together private colleges from across Virginia to create a Solar Master Plan to guide solar deployment on their campuses, with a goal of installing 30 megawatts (MW) of distributed solar generation by 2020 through a series of collaborative procurements. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative.

Over the course of three years, the CICV project team aims to:

  • Engage a broad group of stakeholders, including faculty and students as well as regional organizations, through capacity-building workshops and project presentations
  • Develop and utilize the expertise of selected faculty and staff to implement the most cost-effective solar deployment models for each institution
  • Work with local governments and electric utilities to improve the procedural, administrative, financial, and legal aspects of the solar deployment process
  • Achieve tiered price reductions for solar installations by implementing a specialized Solarize campaign that leverages group purchasing power, public-private financing models, and innovative legal frameworks
  • Create and maintain a learning network to share best practices and encourage project replication, through an online higher education solar information hub and a how-to guidebook

 Program participants and stakeholders can access relevant resources and find project updates below.

CICV Request for Proposals for Solar PV Projects (Deadline: Jan. 22, 2016)

  • Request for Proposals (PDF)
  • Exhibit A - Request for Qualifications Survey (PDF) (Word)
  • Exhibit B - Price Proposal Form (Excel)
  • Exhibit C.1 - Site Summary Spreadsheet (Excel)
  • Exhibit C.2.1 - Site Techical Overview: Bundle 1 (PDF)
  • Exhibit C.2.2 - Site Techical Overview: Bundle 2 (PDF)
  • Exhibit C.2.3 - Site Techical Overview: Bundle 3 (PDF)
  • Exhibit C.2.4 - Site Techical Overview: Bid Alternates (PDF)
  • Exhibit C.3 - Site Historical Electrical Usage (Excel)
  • Exhibit C.4 - Facility As-Built Plan Sheets (only available to qualified vendors)
  • Exhibit D - Solar PV Specifications & Requirements (PDF)
  • Exhibit E.1 - Key Contract Terms and Conditions (PDF)
  • Exhibit E.2 - Standard Power Purchase Agreement (PDF)
  • Exhibit E.3 - Exceptions to Standard Power Purchase Agreement (PDF) (Word)
  • Exhibit F - Bid Form Checklist (PDF) (Word)
  • Addendum 1 (PDF)
  • Addendum 2 (PDF)
  • Addendum 3 (PDF)
  • Addendum 4 (PDF)

Participating Colleges

 

 

 

 

Project Updates

 

  • Lessons Learned from First RFPThis 5 page memo highlights lessons learned from our first round of procurement. These lessons are instructive for other coalitions seeking to replicate the collaborative model. The memo includes advice for team structure, design of the RFP documents, and how to properly evaluate the responses.
  • Q3 2016 Sun Times eNewsletterThe latest issue of our quarterly eNewsletter is in! Learn about our semi-annual workshop in September, receive an update on the first round of our RFP, and read a letter from the Principle Investigator. 
  • Q2 2016 Sun Times eNewsletterWe are excited to bring to you this quarter's CICV Solar Market Pathways eNewsletter!  This edition features an update on the RFP status, recaps of recent workshops and events, and a letter from our Principle Investigator. 
  • Q1 2016 Sun Times eNewsletterWe are excited to bring to you this quarter's CICV Solar Market Pathways eNewsletter!  Read about the current status of the project including an update on the RFP, info on past and upcoming workshops, and more.  
  • CICV Presentation to Solar Market Pathways' Colleges & Universities Affinity GroupOur project consultant Tyler Espinoza from Optony presented on the CICV collaborative solar procurement approach to stakeholders from across the country.
  • CICV Solar Master Planning.  An integral part of the CICV Solar Market Pathways project is to provide colleges with the information necessary to incorporate solar energy into their long-term planning processes.  In Q4, the CICV team provided each college with their own Solar Master Plan with tailored information that is relevant to their local utility, government, etc.  You can download a sample plan here.
  • Q4 2015 Sun Times eNewsletterWe are excited to bring to you this quarter's CICV Solar Market Pathways eNewsletter!  Read about the current status of the project, including the forthcoming RFP, additional grant received, and more.  
  • November 2015: CICV Solar Request for Proposals Issued!  This month we passed a major milestone in the CICV Solar Market Pathways project with the issuance of the first RFP, which is available with all associated exhibits on this webpage.  
  • Q3 2015 Sun Times eNewsletterWe are excited to bring to you this quarter's CICV Solar Market Pathways eNewsletter!  Read about the current status of the project, including the forthcoming RFP, additional grant received, and more.  
  • August 2015: CICV Learning Module Released. This learning module has been created by CICV to guide students in the analysis of utility regulatory filings. This module uses Ferrum College as a case study to analyze the potential impact of deploying solar PV systems under Appalachian Power Company's (APCo) proposed RGP Rider on CICV member colleges in APCo's service territory.  

                 

  • Q2 2015 Sun Times eNewsletter: We are excited to bring to you the CICV Solar Market Pathways quarterly eNewsletter!  Read about the current status of the project, including the major accompishments achieved to date.  Also part of our report out for the quarter is a draft version of the Solar Master Plan outline that will guide participating colleges in estabslihing long-term plan for solar deployment on their campsuses. 
  • June 24, 2015: CICV Solar Market Pathways Project Update for Facility Officers. This presentation was delivered by Project Manager, Carol Wampler, to CICV college Facility Officers.  The overview contains information about this three-year program will help the colleges navigate the complex legal, regulatory, and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leveraging group purchasing power, and creating a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power. 
  • May 22, 2015: CICV Solar Market Pathways Stakeholder Workshop.  This all-day workshop at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) provided an opportunity for leaders from participating colleges to convene and collaborate with other project stakeholders, including state-level officials, utility representatives, and local governments, among others.  The workshop kicked-off with two solar success stories from EMU and Washington & Lee University, followed by panel sessions with state-level energy officials.  Presentation slides are available below.

              

  • May 12, 2015: CICV Solar Market Pathways Project Update for Admissions Officers. This presentation was delivered by Project Manager, Carol Wampler, to CICV college Admissions Officers.  The overview contains information about this three-year program will help the colleges navigate the complex legal, regulatory, and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leveraging group purchasing power, and creating a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power. 
  • May 4-6, 2015: CICV Project Delegation Travels to Salt Lake City for Leadership Academy Conference. Leaders from CICV, Optony Inc., Bridgewater College, Eastern Menonite University, and Bridgewater College will travel to Utah for a Leadership Academy Conference hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Institute for Sustainable Communities. 
  • April 22, 2015: CICV Project Team Kicks-off Site Visits for Solar Market Pathways Project. Leaders from CICV and Optony Inc. have embarked on the first of 15 site visits at participating colleges. The team met with college presidents as well as directors of finance and facilities in order to explore opportunities for maximizing impact and campus involvement.  Optony performed the on-site technical evaluation and information gathering needed to complete forthcoming solar feasibility assessments for each participating college.  
  • February 13, 2015: CICV's Convene's First Solar Market Pathways Semi-Annual Workshop. The CICV project team convened the first in a series of stakeholder workshops at Bridgewater College in February. The workshop brought together leaders from across the community to engage and discuss the objectives and goals of the project.
  • February 9, 2015: Appalachian School of Law Launches Solar Live Client Clinic. Appalachian School of Law has launched a Solar Live Client Clinic project whereby students will provide pro bono legal and regulatory work associated with the deployment of community-scale solar energy under CICV's Solar Market Pathways grant.
  • January 29, 2015: Energy Department Announces More Than $59 Million Investment in SolarThe 15 Solar Market Pathways projects announced by the White House pursue various approaches to developing actionable solar deployment plans and strategies to promote deployment at residential, community, and commercial scales.

Roadmap

The CICV team has created this TEMPLATE solar policy and program roadmap containing guidance on how to transform the local solar market. Each recommendation in the roadmap is supported with relevant reports, case studies, examples, and templates to support local and regional implementation efforts.

These roadmap goals are derived from attributes of successful solar communities nationwide, along with input from industry experts. Each goal represents a step toward making solar easier and more cost effective for all residents within the community. Expand each focus area below to show its related goals, and click the 'Take Action' button to access the relevant resources designed to help you achieve these goals. 

 

showPermitting Process

Current Progress:
7 of 14 goals achieved
50%7%
Planned

[P1] Use a Standard Permit Application Form Specific to PV Systems(18)

There is a standard building permit application form, but nothing specific to PV currently

Consider adopting a standard application form specific to solar PV for qualifying projects under 10kW.

[P2] Make Permit Application Form Available Online(176)

Building permit application forms are available online, though no PV specific form currently in use

Town currently at market best practice! If a standard PV application form is adopted per goal [P1], make the form available online in an easily accessible location.

[P3] Allow Electronic Submittal of Application Form(87)

Solar PV permit application form can be submitted via email, but not online

Town currently at market best practice!

[P4] Require only 1 Permit Application Submittal(164)

Only 1 permit application submittal is required

Town currently at market best practice!

[P5] Post Permit and Inspection Process Information and Fee Schedules Online(80)

Solar PV permitting and inspection process information available by email and in person

Post information on the solar permitting and inspection process online in an easily accessible location. This should include the process steps, timelines, fees, point of contact, and any other pertinent information.

[P6] Streamline Permit Processing Time and Allow Expedited Process for Qualifying Projects(75)

Same day permit issuance for residential and commercial projects

Town at market best practice!

[P7] Base Residential Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(85)

Flat residential solar PV permit fee of $30

Town currently at market best practice!

[P8] Base Commercial Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(55)

Commercial solar PV permit fee is $3.50/$1000 + 2% of the total project cost

Base commercial permit fees on cost recovery, or if a flat fee is used keep the fee amount under $500.

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(147)

Inspection is performed within 2 business days of request

Town currently at market best practice!

[P10] Offer Convenient Inspection Scheduling(94)

Town offers morning or afternoon appointment window and inspector calls ahead when on the way

Town currently at market best practice!

[P11] Require only 1 Inspection Visit(82)

Multiple inspection visits are required

Require only a single permit inspection. If additional inspections are required during installation, conduct in a manner that does not require installer to halt work.

[P12] Adopt an Inspection Checklist(21)

No inspection checklist currently in use

Utilize a standard inspection checklist for PV systems. The checklist serves as a guide for inspectors and installers containing points of emphasis and common issues.

[P13] Allow a Structural Exemption for Qualifying Systems(41)

Civil, mechanical and structural PE stamps are required for residential systems

For qualifying residential systems meeting certain criteria, allow an exemption from structural analysis or structural PE stamp requirements.

[P14] Understand New Solar-Specific Building, Electrical, and Fire Codes(82)

Current knowledge level of staff regarding recent solar standards unknown

Be aware of and consider accepting new solar standards from most recent code cycles.

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
2 of 7 goals achieved
29%
Planned

[Z1] Pursue Protection for Solar Rights and Access(72)

No protection of solar access for homeowners and business owners

Create local ordinances which would protect property owners' right to install solar and ensure their property has unobstructed access to direct sunlight.

[Z2] Promote Solar Ready Construction via Ordinances or Building Codes(15)

No policies or guidance given to developers regarding solar-ready construction

Explore creation of municipal ordinances or guidelines which require or encourage new homes and buildings to be built solar-ready.

[Z3] Require Solar on New Construction(4)

No solar PV requirements for new construction

Explore implementing solar mandates for new construction for all buildings or a segment of the new building stock

[Z4] Incorporate Solar Priorities into Comprehensive or Energy Action Plans(66)

Solar PV goals incorporated into 2012 Comprehensive Plan

Town currently at market best practice!

[Z5] Update Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations(92)

Zoning code addresses and supports solar PV

Town currently at market best practice!

[Z6] Update Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations - Historic and Viewshed Areas(26)

Zoning code for historic and viewshed areas does not specifically address solar

Ensure the zoning codes and ordinances that govern solar installations in aesthetically sensitive areas do not adversely affect property owners' ability to install solar. Allow staff members to review and approve applications when possible rather than requiring committee or planning commission review.

[Z7] Limit Impact of Restrictive Private Covenants(81)

Restrictive conditions may exist in some local developments

Work with homeowners associations to ensure that their covenant, conditions, and restrictions and bylaws do not create undue barriers to solar installations.

showFinancing Options

Current Progress:
1 of 4 goals achieved
25%
Planned

[F1] Support Statewide Efforts to Allow Third-Party Solar Financing, Including Solar PPAs and Leases(16)

Solar PPAs are legal only for certain organizations in Virginia under a pilot program

Support efforts to ensure state-level utility regulations do not restrict these finance mechanisms.

[F5a] Explore Implementation of Local PACE Financing Pilot Program (73)

Virginia passed legislation authorizing local governments to establish PACE loan programs

Establish a working group to evaluate the potential of a PACE financing program for clean energy upgrades in your Town.

[F6] Encourage Local Financial Stakeholders to Establish New Solar Loan Programs(63)

A handful of local banks are offering loans to Solarize Blacksburg customers

Town currently at market best practice! Encourage local financial institutions to continue offering loan programs for solar energy systems.

[F7] Promote Availability of Existing Solar Finance Options and Evaluation Tools(37)

Limited solar information and resources are currently available online

Publicize the availability of local solar finance options and evaluation tools for potential customers. This can be done by providing links and information online, marketing materials, or webinars.

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
1 of 6 goals achieved
17%
Planned

[M1] Support Aggregate Procurement Program for Residential Sector(40)

Town currently supporting implementation of Solarize Blacksburg

Town currently at market best practice!

[M3] Explore Implementation of Collaborative Procurement Program for Municipal Facilities and Schools(38)

No collaborative solar procurement has been implemented to date

Consider aggregating municipal facilities or collaborating with towns across the region to aggregate facilities for a cost-effective procurement.

[M6] Explore Installing Solar at Municipal Facilities, Including Landfill and Water Treatment Facilities(62)

No solar PV systems known to exist on landfills or water treatment facilities

Establish a working group to identify solar feasibility at municipal landfill and water treatment sites.

[M6a] Survey Brownfield Sites for Solar Development Opportunities(12)

No solar PV known to exist on brownfield sites

Establish a working group to explore solar development options across the state, following the best practices and case studies provided. Share information with market stakeholders.

[M7] Publicize Solar Workforce Development Resources and Industry Training Tools(21)

Limited solar information and resources are currently available online

Provide online access to training programs and resources for the installer community and potential workforce and organize an outreach and/or training event in order to generate awareness and understanding.

[M8] Provide Solar Educational Resources to Constituents(77)

Limited solar information and resources are currently available online

Help promote the availability of online tools and resources for the residential, commercial, and municipal solar markets through existing networks.

Resources