Clear Sky Tampa Bay

A Resilience-Based Siting Toolkit for Solar+Storage

A resource to assess the feasibility of commercial-scale solar+storage to support public safety, disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery objectives.

Long-lasting power outages caused by hurricanes and other disasters have major impacts on communities and local economies. Leading organizations and energy agencies across the country are working to evaluate the role of solar energy and battery storage on specific buildings to improve local community resilience goals. The Clear Sky Tampa Bay Team, convened by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) and composed of county and city partners, private and public sector stakeholders, solar energy experts, and academic partners, collaboratively developed a set of resources to support the expanded use of solar + storage in the context of community resilience in Florida.

The Clear Sky Toolkit provides local government staff, utilities, and other community partners with a screening template and additional tools for evaluating the potential to deploy commercial-scale solar + storage applications on critical facilities to mitigate the effects of power outages on critical infrastructure and essential services.

Part of the Toolkit, the Clear Sky Decision Support Template and Guide walk users through a structured approach to prioritizing potential sites that provide critical community services for solar + storage investments based on community resilience considerations, site feasibility, power requirements, and utility collaboration. The Clear Sky Toolkit includes additional resources for users to continue assessments beyond the initial screening and prioritization assessments captured in the Decision Support Template. The suite of solar + storage assessment tools will continue to grow as new resources are made available.

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Clear Sky Tampa Bay: Commercial-Scale Solar Cohort

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council was one of eight teams from around the country selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to participate in a collaborative research effort to develop novel applications of solar energy. NREL is leading the Solar Energy Innovation Network with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. Common themes among the teams included solar plus storage, community solar, resilience benefits of solar, and the value of solar in distributed systems. NREL pursues fundamental research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to transform the way we use energy.

“We selected teams that are experimenting with promising ideas to assess the use of solar power, such as for resilience in commercial-scale applications,” said Eric Lockhart, who leads the Innovation Network at NREL. “The work of these teams will provide a blueprint and useful resources for other communities.”

National Renewable Energy LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Rocky Mountain Institute helped the eight teams realize and demonstrate these novel, often never-before-tried applications with extensive analytical and modeling support and facilitated stakeholder engagement.

Clear Sky Tampa Bay Team

Lead Organization:  Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
Local Government Partners:  Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, City of Largo
Academic Partner:  University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability
Technical Advisor:  Converge Strategies

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