A Model of Collaborative Solar Purchasing: The Alameda County Renewable Energy Procurement Project

Samantha Donalds, Clean Energy States Alliance

For municipalities and local public agencies, there are three main challenges to installing solar energy systems: high transaction costs, a steep learning curve, and fragmented regional demand. The process can be confusing and expensive, requiring more time and energy than a single agency could afford. Collaborative solar purchasing addresses all of these barriers to solar deployment.

Alameda County, California, in collaboration with two local non-profit organizations, is facilitating wide-scale renewable energy adoption across a four-county area through a groundbreaking collaborative solar purchasing project among local public agencies. The Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project (R-REP) is the largest multi-agency solar procurement project in the US. Beyond its size, R-REP incorporates extensive workforce development goals, along with several other improvements on previous approaches to collaborative purchasing.

This case study provides an overview of the R-REP project, with an emphasis on best practices that can be used as a model by other public agencies and local governments.

“We want to highlight this project because it is impressive in its scale and scope, and because it is a different model than we have seen before,” said Warren Leon, CESA Executive Director. “R-REP represents a comprehensive approach to collaborative solar purchasing, and there is much to learn from it.”

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Date: May 27, 2014
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