Lancaster Advanced Energy Community (AEC) Project

Solar fields in the City of Lancaster

Developing a Southern California AEC centered around solar PV, stationary storage, and electric vehicles.

Project Overview

Recipient: Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Alliance

Program: EPIC

Award Amount: $1,469,779

Co-funded Amount: $1,500,000

Agreement Number: EPC-15-069

Project Term: 7/13/2016 - 3/30/2018

Project Status: Closed

Recipient Location:  Davis, CA

Site Location(s):  Lancaster, CA

The Issue

In 2011, the city of Lancaster set a goal to become the first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) City. Regulatory and pricing issues, including high up-front costs, burdensome interconnection applications, and unproven business models continue to be significant barriers to deployment of advanced energy technologies at the scale Lancaster needs to achieve its goal. This project seeks to address (1) how to enable ZNE residential communities from both a financial and technical perspective, and (2) how to capture the value of DERs in a standardized manner to develop viable business models and attract the financial investment needed to support widespread deployment of clean energy resources.

Project Innovation

In collaboration with the City of Lancaster and Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), this project planned a ZNE microgrid connected to an affordable housing project that enables the cost-effective deployment of advanced technologies. The microgrid design minimizes the impact of increasing renewables on the grid, increases DER design flexibility, enables local control of energy management, and exploits the plummeting cost of islanding capability to provide valuable resiliency benefits to the community. The project team also developed a community DER valuation framework that assesses the value of DERs on an aggregated and integrated network basis from multiple stakeholder perspectives by combining various value streams and evaluating evolving revenue and market participation opportunities. This framework was used to inform the shared services model behind a "Green District" program that integrates storage, solar, and smart building technology as a service for large commercial and industrial customers to reduce their demand charges while allowing LCE to save on procurement costs. More information can be found at the project website: http://www.znealliance.org/projects/lancaster/

Project Benefits

Local governments can play a role in achieving California demand reduction goals by helping facilitate community-scale deployment of Integrated Distributed Energy Resources (IDER) such as energy efficiency, onsite renewables, demand response, and electric vehicles. This project will pilot innovative planning, permitting, and financing approaches and tools to help improve the business case for IDER adoption at the community scale.

Lower Costs: This project is outlining how ZNE residential subdivisions can use municipal bonds to finance DER infrastructure with lower interest rates than commercially available third party financing. The project is also working on streamlining the interconnection process for new ZNE communities, which will reduce costs and resources needed to establish a ZNE community.

Greater Reliability: The tools and resources developed under this project will assist in identifying citywide optimal microgrid sites that will have the most local generation potential and minimize impacts on grid reliability.

Economic Development: By providing tools to overcome some obstacles to DER deployment and DER programs, this project could spur the development of these sectors in other communities. When deployed properly, DERs can provide energy savings, and their installation and maintenance creates a variety of jobs. This development also leads to new investment in the community.

Consumer Appeal: This project will increase consumer familiarity with ZNE homes and communities, which should increase support from the local community for greater deployment of advanced energy technologies at a community scale. The project is also developing an innovative stationary storage program that minimizes up-front capital costs through innovative ownership and value sharing models.

Energy Security: Microgrids using renewable energy generation, coupled with storage systems, allows consumers to generate and manage their own energy locally.




Project Overview

Recipient: Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Alliance

Program: EPIC

Award Amount: $1,469,779

Co-funded Amount: $1,500,000

Agreement Number: EPC-15-069

Project Term: 7/13/2016 - 3/30/2018

Project Status: Closed

Recipient Location:  Davis, CA

Site Location(s):  Lancaster, CA

Project Team

CEC Project Manager: James Friedrich

Recipient Contact: Richard Schorske

Match Partner(s): City of Lancaster

Subcontractor(s): ConSol ; Energy Solutions; Olivine, Inc.; Sharon Tobar; NHA Advisors, LLC; Stacey Hobart


 

 

For questions or additional information, please email RandDProjectinfo@energy.ca.gov

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