Our Impact

Since our founding in 2009, the Clean Coalition has had significant impact shaping policies and programs that enable the deployment of local renewable energy to address climate change and secure economic, environmental, and resilience benefits for communities. Our efforts have brought enough clean local energy online to provide peak power to nearly two million American homes.

Through our work, we have:

  • Designed and implemented utility programs across the United States, from California to Indiana to Vermont, bringing hundreds of megawatts (MW) of local renewable energy online.
  • Established precedent-setting interconnection policy in California, which was adopted by federal energy regulators as a new national standard, making it quicker and cheaper to connect clean local energy projects to the grid.
  • Initiated the Hunters Point Community Microgrid Project, which is proving the economic and technical feasibility of deploying high levels of local renewables and transforming how the electric utility industry operates.
  • Led the creation of California’s innovative Distribution Resources Planning proceeding, which requires the state’s largest utilities to proactively plan for — and deploy — distributed energy resources (DER), such as local renewables and energy storage.
  • Shaped New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding and received one of the first five NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition grants for our Long Island Community Microgrid Project.

Timeline of accomplishments


Providing a game changing solution for solar+storage in Hawaii
The Clean Coalition helps set the stage for a showcase solar+storage solution that spans multiple sites on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The solution is a game changer for the electricity industry because it illuminates the cost-effectiveness of local solar energy that is delivered when desired, rather than only while the sun is shining. The Clean Coalition was engaged to conduct analysis that maximized economic value and minimized fossil fuel usage for a solar+storage solution that will provide energy at 11 cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is 10% less than the 12.5 cents/kWh average cost of electricity in the United States. The same type of solar+storage solution can be configured to provide indefinite renewables-driven backup power to critical community facilities. This Kauai example, which spans multiple sites, combines 28 MW of solar with 20 MW/100 MW-hours of batteries and will provide 11% of Kauai’s electricity once online in 2018.


Peninsula Advanced Energy Community launches, providing framework for the future of clean energy
The Clean Coalition launches the Peninsula Advanced Energy Community (PAEC), which was one of 13 projects selected for funding by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The PAEC will address policy, permitting, and financing barriers impeding the development of Advanced Energy Communities. Collaborators include Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), SamTrans, Facebook, Stanford University, and Kaiser Permanente.

Solarizing City-owned parking structures and enhancing EV deployment in Palo Alto
Working with the Clean Coalition, the City of Palo Alto creates a new model for deploying local renewables on municipal properties. Sustained efforts by the Clean Coalition and the City of Palo Alto brought 1.3 MW of local solar atop four City-owned parking structures, along with a significant amount of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Improving interconnection in California
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approves the Clean Coalition’s proposal to require all of California’s investor-owned utilities to publish a Unit Cost Guide, which is designed to improve pricing transparency, predictability, and consistency for the interconnection of distributed generation projects.

Expanding access to solar for Californians
The CPUC issues a decision on the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program, which included the Clean Coalition’s recommendation to include sub-500 kW renewable energy projects. This important modification will enhance the number of siting opportunities for clean local energy in the built environment.

Better valuing NEM bill credits for solar + storage systems
The Clean Coalition successfully advocated for a NEM bill credit valuation methodology for solar systems paired with energy storage. This is a solution that will properly value energy export credits based on the size of the storage device, overall system, and consumption patterns.

Bringing 735 MW of solar online in Georgia
Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative, designed using our Local CLEAN Program Guide, brings over 735 MW of clean energy online. The Advanced Solar Initiative has enabled Georgia Power to cost-effectively expand its renewable portfolio, including 190 MW of local solar, without raising customer rates.

Refining California’s new regulatory incentive pilot
The Clean Coalition plays a significant role in refining California’s new regulatory mechanism incentive pilot. The pilot requires each utility to identify at least one grid-scale project — and authorize up to three additional projects — where the deployment of distributed energy resources would displace or defer the need for significant costs associated with new energy transmission infrastructure, such as power plants and power lines.


Bringing resilience to New York’s grid with the Long Island Community Microgrid Project
The Clean Coalition’s Long Island Community Microgrid Project launches in New York, serving as a model for the state and country. The project was one of the first to be awarded funding by Governor Cuomo in the NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition.

Identifying hundreds of megawatts in solar potential for cities and utilities
The Clean Coalition conducts Solar Siting Surveys to study and demonstrate how DER, including local solar photovoltaics, may support local reliability needs.

Planning the grid for more local renewables
The Clean Coalition guides the CPUC’s implementation of distribution resources planning requirements.

Fixing a hidden fee on renewables  
The Clean Coalition launches a campaign to remedy the unfair Transmission Access Charges being imposed on local renewable energy in California.

Improving national energy policy
As the primary intervener in a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reform interconnection reporting methods, the Clean Coalition sets a standard for publishing data by allowing easier access to information when applying to add clean energy to the grid.


Leading Palo Alto towards a low carbon future
The Downtown Palo Alto Net Zero Energy Initiative, initiated by the Clean Coalition, aims to achieve net zero energy for at least 100 existing commercial buildings in downtown Palo Alto by yearend 2017. Additionally, the Clean Coalition leads the process to bring solar projects to five City-owned parking structures.

Establishing renewable energy programs
The Clean Coalition works with utilities to establish feed-in tariff (FIT) programs, such as the Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s FIT 2.0 and Sonoma Clean Power’s ProFIT program. We also help in the successful passage of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Feed-In Tariff Act.

Proactive planning for solar, storage, and other clean energy technologies under AB 327
The Clean Coalition offers recommendations on implementing the Distribution Resources Planning requirement of California’s Assembly Bill 327 (AB 327), which includes a grid planning methodology shaped by the Clean Coalition for determining the optimal locations of distributed energy resources.

Utilizing advanced inverters in California
Advanced inverters are an effective tool for regulating voltage and enabling greater amounts of local renewable energy. The CPUC’s Rule 21 adopts numerous advanced inverter standards recommended by the Clean Coalition and makes California the first state in the country to require the use of advanced inverters with distributed generation.


California Assembly Bill 327 officially signed into law
California Governor Jerry Brown signs into law AB 327, which mandates that the state’s largest investor-owned utilities proactively plan for a distributed power system. The new law brings together years of Clean Coalition work by including our language and recommendations and marks a significant step forward in smarter grid planning by ensuring that California ratepayers are protected from unnecessary investments in the outdated centralized power system.

Transforming a San Francisco neighborhood
In collaboration with PG&E, the Clean Coalition initiates the Hunters Point Community Microgrid Project. Once complete, this project will result in $200 million in regional economic stimulation and preserve 375 acres of land over 20 years, while eliminating 78 millions of pounds of toxic greenhouse gas emissions and saving 15 million gallons of water annually.


Expanding biopower in California
Senate Bill 1122, designed by the Clean Coalition, is passed, which requires the state’s largest investor-owned utilities to create an additional 250 MW of capacity for biopower projects.

Vermont expands statewide CLEAN Program
Vermont Governor Shumlin signs into law the 2012 Energy Bill, which contains groundbreaking acknowledgement of the environmental and economic benefits of clean local energy and more than doubles the amount to be brought online through the state’s CLEAN Program. The Clean Coalition provides leading policy support to Vermont-based clean energy organizations engaged in the legislative process.

Clean Coalition’s efforts on California’s Integrated Energy Policy Report prove fruitful
The Clean Coalition is highly involved in the CEC’s 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report, which includes research and analysis of energy demand and generation trends relevant to California’s 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard and Governor Brown’s 12,000 MW goal for distributed generation. The Clean Coalition’s involvement results in a number of victories for proponents of distributed generation.

Fixing a clean energy program in California
Working with developers, Southern California Edison, the California Governor’s office, and the CPUC, the Clean Coalition removes barriers within the California Renewable Energy Small Tariff — demonstrating that with proper stakeholder collaboration, the clean local energy market can be unleashed to create powerful and immediate economic benefits for California communities.


Stopping counterproductive policy
The Clean Coalition successfully prevents California utilities from weakening the Renewable Auction Mechanism, a program designed to bring clean energy online. The utilities sought to continue use of an inadequate data map, unfair deliverability requirements, and less frequent auctions.

Improving transparency into Pacific Gas & Electric’s grid
As a result of the Clean Coalition’s persistent requests, PG&E creates an online map and information resource to improve the process of connecting renewable energy to the grid. This lays the foundation for more advanced distribution grid mapping required in California’s Distribution Resources Planning proceeding.