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The Energize Fresno project was funded from the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) EPIC grant funding request to accelerate the deployment of advanced energy communities (AEC).  Energize Fresno leverages city planning activities (e.g. general plans, water, transportation, carbon action, housing plan, etc.) to develop portfolios of projects that have an aggressive implementation of DERs. These include energy efficiency, distributed generation, demand management, energy storage, and site level infrastructure upgrades needed to support electrification of transportation to meet the following AEC criteria:  

  1. Minimize the need for new energy infrastructure
  2. Achieve and maintain zero net energy community status.
  3. Support grid reliability and resiliency by incorporating technologies such as energy storage.
  4. Provide easier grid integration and alignment with the resource adequacy, long-term procurement plan, and local capacity requirements.
  5. Provide affordable access to renewable energy generation, energy efficiency upgrades, and water efficiency and reuse technologies.
  6. Designed to be replicated and scaled-up to further drive down costs.
  7. Designed to be financially attractive from a market standpoint.
  8. Make use of smart-grid technologies throughout the community.
  9. Align with other state energy and environmental policy goals at the community level.

Tierra completed three core technical tasks for the project:

  1. A Project Pipeline development process resulting in a portfolio of 16 commercial projects that reduced customer energy costs and improve grid resiliency through deigns that combine energy efficiency with aggressive solar and storage deployments. Figure 12 provides an illustration of the aggregate load profile for the project portfolio to be implemented in this year including load shapes (kW) for both baseline designs (i.e. California Title 24 code) and project designs that include full DER deployment at each project site.
  2. A Funding Platform that will define the full range of funding options that exist within a community, and how these can be coordinated, combined, and cross-leveraged to drive the implementation of projects with higher resource value. Figure 13 provides a summary of the funding and financing products and values being used to construct the Energy Fresno portfolio of sustainability projects.


Figure 12. Baseline and Full DER Deployment Portfolio Load Profile

3. A Verification Toolkit that will provide the internal mechanisms necessary to verify, record, aggregate the savings from all projects being installed community-wide on an ongoing basis based on normalized metered energy consumption for all DER components. The verification toolkit is based on the application of two industry standard design and verification methodologies;

a. CalTRACK is a set of methods for calculating site-based, weather-normalized, metered energy savings from an existing conditions baseline and applied to single family residential retrofits using data from utility meters. The CalTRACK framework is a set of energy efficiency savings calculation guidelines that obey three fundamental principles necessary for facilitating the valuing of energy efficiency as a grid resource:

  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Replicability

b. The Investor Confidence Programs (ICP) provides a set of protocols that support development of Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) certified projects. This is certification is awarded to energy efficiency retrofit projects that increase investor confidence in project feasibility and returns on investment. The ICP Protocols standardize the technical requirements associated with project development by offering a roadmap consisting of required procedures and documentation. The ICP suite includes protocols to accommodate all sizes and scopes of commercial and multifamily.

The verification toolkit specifies how to design verification into the project development and build process, including CalTRACK and ICP quality assurance activities implemented throughout various project design and build steps as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 13: Portfolio Capital Stack and Cash Flow Analysis

Figure 14: ICP / CalTRACK Project Development QA/QC Activities