Middleware Oriented Community Solar Platform

Period of Performance: 07/31/2017 - 07/30/2019

$1MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ProjectEconomics Inc.
15 MetroTech Ctr Urban Future Lab, 19th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

Shared solar, also known as community solar, has the potential to dramatically expand the deployment of solar, but utilities, developers and community groups are lacking the tools to efficiently monetize the potential. At ProjectEconomics, we are developing a middleware oriented community solar software platform to help our clients deliver community solar efficiently at scale. Shared solar is the key to unlocking access to solar for the reported 49 percent of US households and business that can’t go solar because they are renters or don’t have adequate roofs. In its original form, shared solar was confined to small groups of motivated citizens. As programs began to spread, stand-alone tools were developed to assist with billing and manage the program membership. Now that the market is maturing and participation is growing, the initial tools for managing programs are becoming increasingly inadequate. In our Phase I application we argued that to expand access to shared solar, versatile white-label software was needed to allow new and larger entities to enter the market with program designs that would scale. We had identified that utilities, energy retailers and major solar developers were well positioned to bring scale to the industry, but they lacked the tools. By developing a solution that allowed them to leverage their existing systems, we could accelerate the growth of shared solar by reducing the cost and complexity of deploying it. In Phase I we built a functional layer around our community solar software platform and successfully commercialized our technology around the demands of the market. Our technical and commercial success has established a strong foundation for the continuation of our work and the further commercialization of our technology. In Phase II we will expand the billing and integration capabilities, the configuration and customization flexibility, and the maturity of our software. This work will allow us to offer a more advanced product. The software will expand consumer access to shared solar by increasing the numbers and diversity of stakeholders actively involved. Our work will connect more people to solar energy.