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Helping an investor owned utility develop a business case for a community solar product offering


“MCR helped to frame the strategic themes of distributed generation and specific offerings, like community solar. My experience with MCR was about as good as it can get; everything exceeded my expectations.”

—Manager of Product Development


Background

Based on a strategic planning analysis, an investor owned utility determined it had an opportunity to launch to its customers a solar product that could provide a first mover advantage in their service territory. If properly positioned, the product could build market share for the utility years ahead of an anticipated aggressive campaign by the major national solar companies. After conducting a strategic assessment of multiple solar product opportunities, the utility decided to develop a detailed business case for launching a community solar product offering.

Solution

MCR worked with our utility client to develop a detailed business case for the community solar product. The business case started with a comprehensive assessment of the local solar market, including the market potential for solar, findings from customer surveys about solar, and current and anticipated actions of competitors in the marketplace. The projected economics of community solar and the lessons learned from other renewable offerings by the utility, as well as solar offerings from other utilities, was incorporated into the overall design of the product. The business case developed a detailed approach to pricing, marketing/promotion, delivery and ongoing operations in order to develop a forecasted financial impact assessment. In addition to the financial impact of the product, the business case also identified the strategic value of the offering.

Results

The business case was presented to the utility executive management team and was incorporated into the company’s strategic market plan. It has been formalized into a multi-megawatt community solar pilot project. The project was filed with the state regulatory commission with plans to roll out the pilot to customers once approval is received.