Our team actively participates in a number of industry and community organizations to support the advancement of renewable energy initiatives, education, incentives and technology.
Solar Industry Education: MREA DOE SunShot Initiative
Since 2015, TurningPoint Energy has provided solar development and financing expertise to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to support its U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) funded SunShot Initiative to create student courses and projects to self-develop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects on campus.
The MREA, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, promotes the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency through innovative programs, renewable energy training and educational events. In addition to offering renewable energy training and certificate programs, the MREA works with partnering higher education institutions – including the University of Minnesota, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Illinois State University, and Purdue University – to advance solar deployment at higher education institutions across the U.S.
“We have engaged deeply with partnering universities, providing them the “insider’s guide” to how solar project development and financing really works and how to quickly qualify and develop projects organically from the inside out.”
–Jared Schoch, TPE President
Under the MREA DOE SunShot grant, TurningPoint Energy advised university teams on project financial structuring, engineering, procurement, construction, and investment, including serving as an advisor for its Solar Endowment: A PV Investment Roadmap for U.S. Universities and Foundations. To develop this roadmap, the MREA partnered with higher education institutions to develop campus plans for investing in large-scale solar PV energy. The MREA guided campus teams through the project development process, including engaging relevant stakeholders, evaluating relevant legal and regulatory restrictions, analyzing energy use and potential sites, modeling investment returns, and preparing competitive solicitation documents.
Through expanding and applying these efforts to a new cohort of higher education institutions through the PV Development for Institutions course, the MREA’s goal is to further enable the higher education community to deploy PV and make investments that advance their foundation and sustainability goals.
To date, 5 MW in solar projects are currently in development, financing or operational as a result of this initiative.
Instructor Role: University Solar Network’s PV Development for Institutions Course
Most recently, TPE supported the creation of a tool set and curriculum that MREA and universities can replicate to prepare students in science, business, law, engineering and related fields for careers in the solar industry, including MREA’s University Solar Network’s PV Development for Institutions Course. TurningPoint Energy founder and president Jared Schoch was one of six instructors for the course, January 29 through March 25, 2018. View the course description and syllabus.
According to the MREA, the PV Development for Institutions course was inspired by and designed upon lessons learned from the Solar Endowment PV Investment Roadmap.
Ongoing Initiatives: Presentations and Webinars
TPE has supported to other MREA efforts through presentations and webinars such as “Working with a PV Developer to Make PV Investments on Your Campus,” presented by Jared Schoch as part of the MREA’s Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference in Baltimore, MD in 2016. The free, one-hour webinar focused on the methods to define solar opportunities at higher education campuses, including structuring solar development teams, best practices for developing successful projects, and university financial options for PV investment.