An innovative solar + storage research project led by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has been selected as a finalist for the Solar Energy Innovation Network project supported by NREL. The Clear Sky Tampa Bay project will now receive funding from NREL through DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office along with seven other project across the country to create a consistent framework for assessing and defining the value of disaster resilience benefits.
“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.”
The Tampa team is creating a regional technical and economic framework for integrating disaster risk reduction and other resilience factors into solar + storage cost-benefit analyses. The project aims to develop model solar + storage solutions and procurement strategies that can be deployed at critical facilities throughout Central Florida and beyond.
The new framework and technical and economic decision-support resources will enable municipalities, nonprofit organizations and businesses to identify potential high-value sites for installing solar energy and battery storage systems to improve public safety and disaster preparedness. For example, assessments could look at shelters, refrigerated warehouses which store medicine or food, and municipal buildings and critical infrastructure.
“New information is showing that solar energy combined with battery storage and microgrids can provide targeted community resilience benefits,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. “The Clear Sky resources will be provided to all local governments and stakeholder organizations involved in the Resilience Coalition, and will be shared throughout Florida, and nationally.”