Developing Partnerships With CSE

Strategic alliances help achieve our mission and grow the clean energy marketplace

Accomplishing our mission — accelerating the transition to a sustainable world powered by clean energyis something we take seriously at CSE. But we know we cannot fulfill the task alone. That is why partnerships are so important to what we do and how we affect the future.

Our partners come from diverse spheres — technology vendors, research firms and universities, multinational companies, small businesses, community-based organizations, policy allies, etc. — but the bottom line is we look for those with an aligned vision and complementary subject matter expertise.

Cutting-edge projects with technology partners

A great example of our diverse partnerships is a current project we are working on with technology partners such as Olivine, SolarCity and Tesla. In this innovative project, sponsored by the California Energy Commission, we are demonstrating the ability of behind-the-meter generation resources to participate in the wholesale electricity market. We are aggregating distributed resources and bidding them into the wholesale market as proxy demand resources, capable of helping to provide load reduction and grid services. Working with Olivine is essential to the project’s success because of their extensive expertise as one of the only third-party aggregators to bid behind-the-meter resources into the wholesale market.

Joining with national solar energy associations

CSE is working with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) to address solar access for renters and tenants in multifamily properties. A Department of Energy-funded project is focused on increasing awareness of favorable utility pricing structures and using California’s state-mandated virtual net energy metering (VNEM) tariff that shares the credits produced from a solar system among the property’s tenants. IREC has been crucial in putting the California VNEM model into context to other shared solar policies around the nation. Because of this, the project team has identified best practices within the model and developed suggestions for regions and markets that are exploring a VNEM policy or program. In addition, CALSIEA has been key in engaging with contractors for outreach and resource dissemination.

Advancing EV markets with local partners

As the statewide administrator of the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) program, CSE distributes rebates and performs outreach and education, working with the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. We also work with the MA State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA) to provide dealership outreach and engagement statewide. Because of the partnership, MOR-EV was featured in the cover story of the March 2016 issue of Auto Dealer magazine. The article provided high-level program information and detailed dealership resources, including webinars and training materials.

Reaching out to disadvantaged communities

CSE is taking strides to work closely with community-based organizations (CBOs) in disadvantaged communities. They can mobilize quickly, disseminate information within their communities in the most efficient ways and serve as a trusted source. Currently, we are partnering with several CBOs, such as Fresno Metro Ministry and Legacy LA, to disseminate information about how incentives from California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project make electric vehicles more affordable and the cost-savings and clean air benefits electric cars offer.

Partnering with underutilized businesses

CSE prioritizes seeking partnerships with minority, female and disabled veteran business enterprises because we believe in the need to promote equal and increased opportunities for all segments of society to participate in the clean energy market transformation. We routinely include diverse organizations and businesses as partners on our projects, such as part of a multiyear award from the Department of Energy to assistant businesses in adopting energy- and cost-saving combined heat and power technologies (cogeneration).

We’re open to your participation

We’re always looking for new partners, for projects and programs that we initiate or for ones that are brought to us for consideration. A proposed project could need any number of different skill sets and resources — to fill a gap in technical expertise, provide greater knowledge or build local connections. Our goal is to find opportunities to advance clean energy that are mutually beneficial not only for ourselves and partners, but for the greater societal well-being and future generations.

We want to identify opportunities and get to work on projects as soon as possible. If you would like to join in partnership, we encourage you to set up a call or a meeting.

Once we have the ball rolling, communications become particularly important, especially as funding opportunities arise and teams need to quickly assemble. To maintain momentum, we like to identify short-term opportunities and begin building the relationship.

Let’s get to work. Together, we can better accelerate the clean energy transition.

Petersen is CSE’s senior manager for business development, advancing projects that support local and regional partnerships. Contact him at (858) 244-4876 or Contributors to this blog include Jonathan Hart, Alexandra Patey, Nicole Appenzeller and Lauri Walker.
About Tyler Petersen

Tyler oversees CSE's business development team, working closely with center staff to identify and maintain strategic relationships and networks that advance local and regional opportunities.