The Solar 3.0 program started with a baseline evaluation of more than 750 regional and municipal solar PV markets in order to determine their level of “readiness” to support robust PV installation activity. Solar 3.0 is now gearing up to deliver a series of educational webinars and face-to-face events that will educate and inform the PV market (including Authorities Having Jurisdiction, utilities, and PV supply chain participants) about how to utilize best practices and standards to drive down the “soft costs” of solar PV.
Pick the Right Targets
In 2012, the Solar 3.0 program is focused on the “Top 100 Solar Cities” in the U.S. as determined by the Solar 3.0 steering committee. The Baseline Comparison page shows the most likely candidates. The plan is to confirm the top 50 cities by April 1, the top 80 by June 1, and the top 100 by July 2012.
Leverage Existing Tools and Techniques
The Solar 3.0 program will demonstrate how existing tools, techniques and best practices can be adopted to reduce cost inefficiencies and increase productivity in solar PV. Engaging stakeholders over the Internet and through face-to-face meetings around the country, the interactive format of the Solar 3.0 program will enable practitioners to learn from others, describe what has worked in their communities, and exchange knowledge and expertise.
Provide Continuing Education Units
Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are a key feature of Solar 3.0. CEU’s provide an important benefit to professionals who are striving to stay abreast of developing technologies in the context of their larger duties. CEU’s will be issued for successful completion of most Solar 3.0 training activities.
Solar 3.0 has set lofty goals for itself with regard to transparency, program activity, and delivering concrete results. The figure at right illustrates PV the balance-of-systems (BoS) “soft cost” targets that the Solar 3.0 program is seeking to reduce. The total BoS soft costs, in this case, are assumed to be $2.06 per watt installed. Solar 3.0 will re-calibrate BoS estimates for regional markets around the country.
Continually Test and Measure
Throughout the year, the Solar 3.0 team will perform periodic, regular evaluations at the regional and municipal levels to determine the amount of real progress that has been made. Three Regional Workshops, to be held in the East, Central, and West regions during the spring and summer, will enable Solar 3.0 to stay synchronized with other solar initiatives that are emerging from state and regional governments, utilities, and other solar industry participants. In October 2012, we will convene the Solar 3.0 National Review to gauge our overall progress, determine what we can do better, and get ready for next year.