Solar 2021

Modeling and Scaling Track: Community Solar via Micro/Mini/Macrogrids

Moderator: David Ginley

Session will examine the increasingly diverse length scale of renewable energy systems from single huts or neighborhood communities. This will look at the integration of renewable energy sources with storage and use across these various length scales. There are applications where Micro/Mini/Macrogrids are superior to even grid connected systems. The sessions will examine the nature and the application space for these different length scales.


Aug 04 2021


10:45 am - 12:15 pm


West Ballroom


  • Adam Eberwein
    Adam Eberwein
    Technical Lead at EarthSpark International

    Adam directs technical support for EarthSpark’s microgrid activities in Haiti. He also works to introduce and evaluate technologies to meet the need of grid expansion efforts. Prior to joining EarthSpark, Adam worked as an internal engineering consultant in component performance in generation and distribution, energy efficiency analysis and testing at Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Adam is currently working towards his MS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech University. He received his B.A. in mechanical engineering through California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).
    Presentation Title: Haiti off-grid case study: 100% solar+storage microgrid development with demand side management

    Presentation Description: Appropriate use of demand side management in energy access matches particularly well to the spirit of “Empowering a Sustainable Future”. Implementation on a “mini” scale will indeed have real and important impacts to those directly being served but the lessons learned can also have far reaching relevance to many applications, especially as solar and other non-dispatchable generation sources take on an ever-greater role.

  • Daniel Laurilliard
    Daniel Laurilliard
    Graduate Student at George Washington University

    My name is Daniel Laurilliard. I am currently a graduate student at the George Washington University studying International Development. My focus is on the intersection between renewable energy, climate justice, and international development.
    Presentation Title: Global Actions Delivering Electricity for Rural Households Through Off-Grid Renewable Energy

    Presentation Description: This paper/presentation is centered on how various stakeholders have attempted to deliver electricity access to rural areas through off-grid renewable energy solutions. (RE). Such efforts not only provide previously unelectrified households with electricity for the first time, they also do so without increasing GHG emissions. Nonetheless, there are multiple models and methods concerning how stakeholders have delivered electricity access to rural areas through off-grid RE. This paper discusses the benefits and challenges of some of these methods while maintaining an emphasis on scalability and cost. In doing so, this paper sheds light on which methods may be the most appropriate for delivering rural household electricity access through off-grid RE.

  • Laura Rigell
    Laura Rigell

    Laura Rigell led solar programming for the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) from 2017 – 2021. PEA is a municipal government entity driving the development of a robust, inclusive clean energy market in Philadelphia. Laura’s leadership resulted in the execution of the nation’s largest single Solarize initiative and launched the nation’s first 3-year vocational training program for high schoolers in solar installation. Her focus is at the intersection of climate change and equity, rooted in the belief that the transition to clean energy must include everyone. Laura is committed to ramping up solar adoption in the U.S. at the scale and pace required by the climate crisis, while benefiting marginalized communities. Laura’s commitment to this goal is evidenced by her extensive volunteer commitment as a founding member of Serenity Solar, a grassroots initiative to connect North Philadelphia residents with solar energy and jobs.

    Presentation Title: Financing LMI Solar in absence of Strong State Subsidies

    Presentation Description: It is well documented that low- and moderate-income (LMI) households are adopting solar at a lower rate than their higher earning counterparts, despite the fact that LMI households would benefit the most from utility bill savings. In addition to income, race is a predictor of solar adoption with census tracts containing over 50% black residents having 69% less rooftop solar installed than tracts with no racial or ethnic majority, contrasting with white communities which have 21% more, according to a study released in Nature magazine in 2019.
    The Solar Savings Grant Program is increasing access to rooftop solar among non-white and low- and moderate-income households in Philadelphia, in the absence of strong state-level incentives for solar. By creating an innovative model for LMI solar financing, the Solar Savings Grant Program is reducing utility burdens and advancing climate justice.

  • Matt DaCorte
    Matt DaCorte
    Project Coordinator at Meriden Housing Authority

    Matt DaCorte has worked on renewable energy projects with Meriden Housing Authority (MHA) since 2014; assisting in installing 1.1MW of solar. Working directly under MHA Executive Director Rob Cappelletti, he participated in $120M in MHA renewable affordable energy retrofits and new construction. He represented MHA in its successful 2018 Sunshot Solar Program, which installed 200kW of affordable housing solar, and was judged to be in the top 10 of the Sunshot final project awards. Matt has been working on behalf of MHA on a BIPV program with NREL, and as part of the Multifamily Affordable Housing Collaborative.
    Presentation Title:Yale Acres Model Microgrid

    Presentation Description: MHA and AEG have built 8 Affordable Housing projects relying on Solar, other Renewable Technologies, and Micro-grids. These successes are models for 15 projects now being planned for 2021-23 in 3 New England and 2 Midwest states. With New England’s extremely high energy costs, even “affordable housing” can be “unaffordable”. And the ancient energy infrastructure of many older cities, damages their resilience to more frequent weather, environmental, accidental and other disruptions. MHA’s view of affordable housing, includes high quality of life, healthy neighborhoods, the benefits from sustainable, renewable energy systems, and the protection of resilient systems.

  • Zach Emond
    Zach Emond
    Co-founder and CEO at RPSi

    Zach works to drive innovation and disruption in the field of renewable energy and distributed energy resources; working passionately towards a renewable energy system that is both scalable and inexpensive, and enabling an evolution towards a highly decentralized, autonomous, clean energy future. He has a contagious enthusiasm for building a better future. Zach has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and his experience includes research and development of scalable renewable microgrids, non-linear dynamics applied to electrical systems, design using nature to solve complex problems (biomimicry), as well as international research and development of low-cost energy storage solutions.
    Presentation Title: A Nanogrid for Everyone

    Presentation Description: Our vision is a world where no one is denied access to clean energy.

    Current energy infrastructure is expensive to build, maintain, and operate. For the billions of people worldwide who live and work in areas cut off from reliable and affordable access to electricity, a different solution is desperately needed.

    To impact this many people quickly and effectively, the solution must be simple, scalable, and sustainable. This is easier said than done.

    But, by using lessons learned from nature (autonomous cooperative complex systems), and utilizing prior mass adoption strategies (personal computing), we can create substantial positive impact today!

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