Features

What to expect in the Utility Solar Database?

Anyone in the solar industry − electric service providers, solar integrators, developers, and manufacturers, supporting service providers, and policy makers − can all benefit from the Utility Solar Database. The USD serves as a clearinghouse for everything related to utilities and solar, from programs and projects to reports and RFPs. Click on each section to find out more.

Utilities

What is it?

You can view SEPA-exclusive utility solar rankings in this segment, which detail each utility’s level of solar deployment. Using the same information that culminates into SEPA’s annual Utility Solar Rankings report, these rankings have garnered significant media attention, and help those in the solar industry to compare a utility’s solar profile with peer utilities.

Additionally, each utility is linked to its utility profile, which contains details of activities in specific segments. Within the profile, you can view comprehensive solar installation information submitted by utilities that is exclusively available through the Utility Solar Database.

How will it help me?

Exclusive Utility Data This segment features exclusive solar information submitted by utilities on an annual basis that includes residential, non-residential, and centralized market segments.

Historic Trends As an added feature, you can access multi-year solar information on a utility, without having to purchase separate annual datasets.

Breadth and Depth The presentment of this segment simultaneously provides breadth and depth to allow you to quickly view and compare each utility on multiple solar energy deployment aspects.

How does it work?

You can view utility solar data by # of Systems, Capacity and Watts per Customer on an annual or cumulative basis and by annual MW ranking. Sort accordingly by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Utility profiles are accessible on each facet of the USD, by clicking on a utility’s name. Users can sort information in this area of the database by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

News

What is it?

This is a one-stop shop for stories featuring utilities involved in solar from a variety of news outlets, including a library of past SEPA newsletter articles.

How will it help me?

Filter by your needs, as you can tailor your solar news to a specific utility, type of utility, or state using the USD’s filtering function.

No spam – only get utility-related solar news you want without reading a dozen online newsfeeds. Let our researchers scan over 20 news sources to bring utility-relevant solar news to you

How does it work?

The News segment is updated on at least a monthly basis, and contains articles regularly filtered by SEPA’s research team and other data providers. Users can sort information in this area of the database by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Customer Programs

What is it?

In this segment, you can find utility solar information on: Community Solar, Green Pricing, Key Accounts, Property Leasing, and Solar Rates programs. These are customer-oriented solar programs offered by the utility. They range from programs that sell shares of electricity output of utility-owned/managed photovoltaic projects for customers to virtually offset their electric bills; where customers can opt-in to pay a premium to support their utility’s renewable energy investments; and other arrangements that aim to offer a solar-choice for electricity customers.

Additionally, each utility is linked to its utility profile, which contains details of activities in specific segments. Within the profile, you can view comprehensive solar installation information submitted by utilities that is exclusively available through the Utility Solar Database.

How will it help me?

Regional Offers You can view regional utility offers of these customer programs by filtering your search by state and utility type.

Condensed Versions This information is typically available through individual utility websites, but as a USD user, you have easy and quick access to all SEPA-tracked customer programs -- all displayed on a single page.

Easy Searching You can construct customized searches for specific customer program types, along with other desired characteristics (size, format, etc). 

How does it work?

View these programs by utility, state, title, and type by sorting accordingly or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Utility Initiatives

What is it?

Utility initiatives are organized as: RD&D, Smart Grid, Utility Ownership, and Unregulated Subsidiaries. The RD&D and Smart Grid categories track utilities with solar programs dedicated to respective purposes. Utility Ownership captures programs where utilities own solar generation asset portfolio. Unregulated Subsidiaries refer to business models adopted by unregulated entities, such as holding companies or unregulated subsidiaries of IOUs that principally participate in the solar markets by developing and owning solar installations; selling solar power output to load-serving utilities; or making financial investments in the solar industry.

How will it help me?

Categorization Although utility initiatives are mostly disparate, utility-tailored information, the USD specializes in bringing together and organizing this information for you, so you can view and compare utility initiatives side-by-side.

Plain to See How many websites do you have to browse to find out which utility has unregulated subsidiaries? With access to the USD, you only need to browse one. Unregulated subsidiaries (and other utility initiatives) are all displayed on a single page, with detailed descriptions ready for you to view.

How does it work?

Users can sort information in this area of the database by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Projects

What is it?

You will find solar PV projects from S&P Global Market Intelligence, and electro-mechanical, electro-chemical, and thermal energy storage projects sourced from DOE's Global Energy Storage Database. 

How will it help me?

Filter by information request For each planned or operating solar project displayed, you can view more detailed information, including: state, project name, technology, planned/operating capacity, reliability services provided, and more.

Standardization – Standardization applied to this segment allows you to compare apples to apples across all projects. As a result, you can easily and quickly filter by project characteristics, helping you visualize regional trends or create customized analyses. 

How does it work?

You can view tabulation of energy storage projects, or filter accordingly by choosing specific states or utilities. A click on the project name opens a window that shows each project in greater detail. 

Contracts and Agreements

What is it?

In this segment, you can access documents related to utility net metering tariffs, site lease agreements, power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements. The variety of documentation issued by the utilities is used as part of the contractual processes, for both customers and partnership involvement, over solar projects.

How will it help me?

Examples of documentation are stored in this segment include net metering contracts, interconnection agreements, PPA contracts, site lease agreements, etc. If you are interested in sampling the specification used by utilities for solar energy-related agreements, then this segment can provide such benefit.

An archive of documents can be used to gain knowledge of how solar contracts and agreements may differ among different utilities or within specific regions.

How does it work?

You can view these documents by utility, state, type, technology, capacity threshold, or customize your search by applying filters from the dropdown menus.

RFPs

What is it?

You can keep up to date with utility requests for proposals (RFPs) and other contract requests (RFI, RFQ, etc.) via this segment, which displays current and archived contract requests from utilities. Utilities often issue RFPs as part of their efforts to increase solar or renewable energy more broadly within their service territories. A utility-issued RFP may either seek specific partners, or just as likely announce a variety of projects being sought such that, when combined, allow for a target amount of solar/renewable energy generation to be reached.

How will it help me?

RFP contacts are included - if publicly available. So you can quickly reach out to inquire about an RFP.

Sort by deadline, which allows you to quickly and easily access current utility contract requests in active bidding process.

See standards language If you are a utility about to issue a solar energy-related RFP, seeking similar RFP examples before finalizing the issuance may potentially help with contract risk mitigation.

How does it work?

View these documents by utility, state, procurement topic, type, technology, capacity threshold and deadline, and sort accordingly by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Reports

What is it?

You can find a number of utility-issued reports pertaining to integrated resource planning, net energy metering, renewable energy portfolio standard compliance, and solar valuation methodologies.

How will it help me?

Regional Comparison Want to compare regional utilities’ integrated resource planning? Instead of separately searching for integrated resource plans from each utility, save time by visiting this segment to find these plans at once.

SEPA Market Research You can utilize SEPA researchers’ active outreach to utilities, for updates and reports, to bring together a library of their public reports and presentations.

How does it work?

View these documents by utility, state, title, type, and date and sort accordingly by clicking on the column headers or applying filters from the dropdown menus.

Policies

What is it?

The Policies segment in the USD refers to a utility’s systemic approach, to developing solar energy resources. These approaches can include renewable portfolio standards or goals, net metering policies, interconnection standards, electricity rates, and other policies.

How will it help me?

Bird's Eye View The segment provides a holistic view of “solar energy rules” for utilities. This may allow you to visualize how specific utilities can have operating preferences in certain solar activities, such as choosing utility ownership over third-party power purchase agreements.

Regional Motivation You can determine which utility is situated in a region that is more or less motivated to invest in solar energy, or which is going above and beyond the governing policy. Information in this segment allows you to draw potential correlations between solar policies and a utility’s activity level (i.e., number of planned projects or amount of solar energy capacity in operation).

How does it work?

View these programs by state and utility type by sorting accordingly or applying filters from the dropdown menus. A large portion of this information comes from the public DSIRE database.

Incentives

What is it?

The incentives segment details solar-related rebate, performance, financing, and tax incentives issued by a governing entity and/or administered by utilities across the nation. This encompassing list further breaks down the types of eligible sectors into residential, commercial, educational/institutional, government, low-income, and other sectors targeted by the incentives.

How will it help me?

Utility-based Incentives Instant access to this information allows you to quickly reference solar-related incentives involving a particular utility, or help in forming perspectives on how specific utilities may have preference in administering the incentives.

Regional Motivation Information in this segment allows you to draw potential correlations between utility incentives and solar deployment activity level (i.e., number of utility initiatives or customer programs offered).

How does it work?

View these programs by state and utility name/type by sorting accordingly or applying filters from the dropdown menus. A large portion of this information comes from the public DSIRE database.

What makes the USD better?

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Let the Utility Solar Database give you an edge.

Doing solar business in the U.S. requires an incredible amount of detailed knowledge about utility solar activities and every utility is different. SEPA has developed a comprehensive database of solar projects, programs, market data, policies and regulations organized by electric utility company.

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