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New Analysis Finds a Strong Economic Case for Resilient Solar+Storage in Miami  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2019

Clean Energy Group and Catalyst Miami explore the obstacles and opportunities for deploying solar and battery storage at critical community facilities in Miami  

Miami, FL – Solar and battery storage technologies that provide clean, reliable backup power are cost-effective for many critical community facilities in Miami, according to a new report released today by Clean Energy Group in partnership with Catalyst Miami. The report, “Resilient Southeast – Miami: Exploring Opportunities for Solar+Storage in Miami, FL,” is one in a series that details a first-of-its-kind economic analysis for solar PV and battery storage (solar+storage) in the Southeast. When the economic value of resilience is accounted for, solar+storage was proven to be a positive investment for all building types in Miami, though obstacles remain before widespread adoption of the technologies will be feasible.

Resilient Southeast – Miami” explores the case for solar+storage to keep critical services powered at four community building types in Miami – a school, a nursing home, a fire station, and a multifamily housing property. The report evaluates the opportunity for solar+storage to serve as a clean, onsite energy source that can keep communities safe more reliably and, in many cases, more affordably than traditional backup power methods such as diesel generators. Beyond providing emergency backup power during grid outages, solar+storage systems can provide benefits throughout the year, including significant electric bill savings and valuable grid services.

“Frontline communities most impacted by severe weather and power outages have historically been left behind in the clean energy transition,” said Zelalem Adefris, resilience director at Catalyst Miami. “With solar+storage, we can change that narrative by accomplishing three goals at once: keeping our most vulnerable residents safe, saving low-income communities money, and reducing harmful emissions.”

“This report marks the first time that solar paired with storage has been assessed to determine the value it can bring to Miami communities,” said Seth Mullendore, vice president and project director of Clean Energy Group. “It clearly shows that this innovative technology combination can bring real benefits to populations that have been hit so hard by severe weather and widespread outages in recent years.”

“Miami has a history of destructive hurricanes, like Hurricane Irma in 2017 which left over 800,000 residents and businesses without power in Miami-Dade alone,” said Marriele Robinson, a program associate at Clean Energy Group. “As natural disasters like Irma increase in frequency and intensity, we need to equip community institutions with resilient backup power so that they can continue to provide services to Miami’s most vulnerable residents, such as senior citizens and low-income households, during an outage.”

Based on detailed economic modeling, solar alone, without storage, was found to be a positive investment for a secondary school and a nursing home Miami. While solar paired with storage, which can be configured to provide resilient backup power during outages, was not found to be an economical option based on bill savings alone, factoring in savings due to avoided power outage costs resulted in positive economics for all building types evaluated.

In comparison to the other Southeastern cities evaluated – Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA; and Wilmington, NC – Miami ranked fourth overall based on the economic opportunity for solar+storage development. The report highlights significant challenges and barriers that must be addressed for these types of resilient power systems to be more economic and widely adopted. Key barriers to customer-sited solar+storage deployment in Miami include a lack of supportive policies, relatively low electricity rates, and limited customer-sited market growth.

To address existing barriers, the report presents potential near-term opportunities for policy and regulatory changes that could advance solar+storage development in Miami and concludes with a set of recommendations.

Resilient Southeast – Miami: Exploring Opportunities for Solar+Storage in Miami, FL” is available on Clean Energy Group’s website at https://www.cleanegroup.org/ceg-resources/resource/resilient-southeast/.

Clean Energy Group will be hosting a webinar on the Resilient Southeast report series with report authors Seth Mullendore and Marriele Robinson and guest speakers from regional partner organizations. The webinar will take place on Thursday, May 16 at 1pm ET. This webinar is free and open to the public. Read more and register at https://www.cleanegroup.org/webinar/resilient-southeast/.

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About Catalyst Miami

Catalyst Miami believes everyone deserves a healthy and financially secure life; currently, two in three families in Miami don’t have enough savings to weather a financial emergency of any kind. For over 20 years, Catalyst Miami has committed to empowering residents to build better futures by providing family economic security programs, developing leadership and civic engagement, and building coalitions to address poverty. More detailed information about all their programs can be found on their website: https://catalystmiami.org/.

About Clean Energy Group

Clean Energy Group is a leading national, nonprofit advocacy organization working on innovative technology, finance, and policy programs in the areas of clean energy and climate change. Clean Energy Group also manages the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a coalition of state and municipal clean energy funds. The Resilient Power Project, a joint initiative of Clean Energy Group and Meridian Institute, is designed to help states and municipalities with program and policy information, analysis, financial tools, technical assistance, and best practices to speed the deployment of clean, resilient power systems in their communities. For more information, visit www.cleanegroup.org and www.resilient-power.org.

 

CONTACT:

Molly Delahunty
Development Director
Catalyst Miami
Phone: 786-414-1292
mollyd@catalystmiami.org

Samantha Donalds
Communications Coordinator
Clean Energy Group
Phone: 802-223-2554 x204
Samantha@cleanegroup.org