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About this course

This course will allow participants to gain practical and theoretical knowledge about utility scale commercial and industrial solar and storage systems with a focus on real-world applications and current working examples of the various technologies.

This is the second of two courses in the Utility Scale Commercial & Industrial Solar and Storage Series. We recommend taking the "Utility Scale Commercial & Industrial Solar and Storage 101" course first, but it's not required.

Learning Objectives - Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the differences and similarities of Hydrogen Energy Storage and Battery Storage
  • Develop a systems’ appropriate “value stack” based on comparing a grid/utility values, commercial values and client values
  • Understand a systems financial benefits based on its “value stack”
  • Employ the courses “Case Studies” to evaluate future projects
  • Evaluate Energy Storage Systems (ESS) projects and the value streams that they utilize to create strong ROI’s
  • Develop ESS systems using third party aggregators and project developers
  • Choose the best potential partners/collaborators/consultants to create the most effective project teams
  • Understand current solar + storage costs for project planning and comparison
  • Leverage the best financing options for particular projects
  • Implement a streamlined project plan from site preparation through O&M
  • Develop the most effective process for offering and responding to RFP’s and RFI’s and how best to review third party proposals
  • Implement an effective commissioning process throughout a project
  • Generate and refine methods, policy and procedures to create and maintain proper cyber security
  • Create best practices and key performance metrics for Operation and Maintenance
  • Build critical design elements for Fire Safety into the systems
  • Leverage electric vehicles as they are deployed for best load-shock management and as storage resources in aggregation
  • Think about future technologies like blockchain and public ledger accounting and their impact on renewable energy and energy storage projects
  • Use the elements of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT) in ESS deployment and operation for enhanced project yields

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Course outline

6 modules • 154 assignments • 14:43 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 5 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Instructor Introduction and Key Concepts Review (09:16 minutes)
  • Orientation to: UTILITY SCALE COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL SOLAR AND STORAGE 201 (15:40 minutes) Preview
  • Update for the New Website and Format (08:45 minutes)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 • 17 assignments
Week 1

  • Aggregation - The Key to opening up Residential BTM Storage for Grid services (16:56 minutes)
  • Austin Shines introduction
  • Austin Shines overview
  • Regulatory Issues and Residential Behind The Meter(BTM) Systems (19:49 minutes)
  • Reading And Reference: NREL and USAID Report on BTM Regulatory Design (.pdf)
  • Colleague Interview: Dan Glaser (35:42 minutes)
  • California BTM Examples (09:19 minutes)
  • Additional Behind the Meter Case Studies
  • Biggest US Battery Build-Out Ever (.pdf)
  • Batteries in Solar Installations Becoming the New Norm (.pdf)
  • Solar-plus-storage is a ‘zero-emissions threat’ to gas-burning power plants in the US (.pdf)
  • Microgrids Changing Landscapes (07:39 minutes)
  • St. Thomas Microgrid (.pdf)
  • Review the announcement from the CA PUC (.pdf)
  • PG&E Remote Grid Option (.pdf)
  • Week 1 wrap-up and Week 2 Overview (15:30 minutes)
  • Quiz for Week 1
Module 2 • 40 assignments
Utility Scale In Front of Meter Projects

  • In Front of the Meter case studies - introduction (03:57 minutes)
  • Metering Configurations (.pdf)
  • Average Electricity Prices in Hawaii (.pdf)
  • Hawaii Solar plus Storage projects (.pdf)
  • Hawaiian Electric eyes 460 MW solar, 3 GWh storage to help meet renewables goals (.pdf)
  • NV Energy Solar plus Storage Project (.pdf)
  • Colorado Solar plus Storage project (.pdf)
  • MA SMART Program In Front of Meter Example Market (16:55 minutes)
  • Massachusetts launches solar incentive (.pdf)
  • SMART program overview (.pdf)
  • MA SMART Solar website
  • SMART program expansion (.pdf)
  • Cluster Study updates (.pdf)
  • Land use restrictions (.pdf)
  • ESA comments on SMART program changes (.pdf)
  • New York In Front of Meter Programs (23:53 minutes)
  • New York Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program (.pdf)
  • New York Energy Storage Value Stream Reference Guide (.pdf)
  • Summary of Value of Distributed Energy Resources (.pdf)
  • Summary of Updated Value Stack Order (.pdf)
  • Bulk Energy Storage Incentive Program (.pdf)
  • Replace NYC peakers with renewables+storage? Plant owners say they're working on it (.pdf)
  • California In Front of Meter Value Streams (18:29 minutes)
  • What is Resource Adequacy (.pdf)
  • CAPUC RA Website
  • Resource Adequacy Overview from Gridworks (.pdf)
  • California braces for rolling outages as heatwave continues (.pdf)
  • California’s Shift From Natural Gas to Solar Is Playing a Role in Rolling Blackouts (.pdf)
  • California Doomed to Frequent Blackout Risk by Battery Shortage (.pdf)
  • LS Power Energizes World's Biggest Battery, Just in Time for California's Heat Wave (.pdf)
  • Consumers Are Playing a Big Role in Keeping the Lights On in California This Week (.pdf)
  • California Needs 1GW of New Long Duration Energy Storage by 2026 (.pdf)
  • California Could Need 55GW of Long-Duration Storage to Meet Its 2045 Carbon-Free Grid Goal (.pdf)
  • California will need up to 55GW of long-duration energy storage by 2045 (.pdf)
  • Long Duration Energy Storage (.pdf)
  • The First Major Long-Duration Storage Procurement Has Arrived (.pdf)
  • California utility SCE’s latest battery storage contracts to take company beyond 2GW mark (.pdf)
  • Utility IFM Midwest Developments - Summary (16:04 minutes)
  • Week 2 wrap-up Week 3 Overview (16:30 minutes)
  • Week 2 Quiz
Module 3 • 16 assignments
Week Three

Assignments and Resources for week 3

  • Development Pre-planning (15:44 minutes)
  • Project Development (48:27 minutes)
  • Solar plus Storage Costs (10:05 minutes)
  • A Behind the Scenes Take on Lithium-ion Battery Prices (.pdf)
  • Battery prices have fallen 88 percent over the last decade (.pdf)
  • Envision Energy Says EV Battery Cell Costs Will Fall Below $50_kWh By 2025 (.pdf)
  • Falling US solar-plus-storage prices start to level as batteries supersize (.pdf)
  • Renewable Energy Costs Take Another Tumble, Making Fossil Fuels Look More Expensive Than Ever (.pdf)
  • Think Distributed Solar-Plus-Storage Isn’t Cost-Effective? Think Again (.pdf)
  • Project Finance (37:29 minutes)
  • Financing the Energy Transition
  • Climate Crisis Will Reshape Finance (.pdf)
  • Levelized Cost of Solar Plus Storage (.pdf)
  • Colleague Interview: Kay Aikin (42:01 minutes)
  • Week 3 wrap-up Week 4 Overview (16:14 minutes)
  • Week 3 Quiz
Module 4 • 33 assignments
Week Four

Assignments and Resources for week 4

  • Programs and Policies (09:37 minutes)
  • Policy News and Updates (12:57 minutes)
  • The DOE Global Energy Storage Database
  • Massachusetts Energy Storage Policy Summary
  • New York Energy Storage Policy Summary
  • California Energy Storage Policy Summary
  • An emerging push for time-of-use rates sparks new debates about customer and grid impacts (.pdf)
  • Congress Passes Spending Bill With Solar, Wind Tax Credit Extensions and Energy R&D Package (.pdf)
  • The battle for control of virtual power plants is just beginning (.pdf)
  • ‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets to Distributed Energy Resources (.pdf)
  • Design and Specification Overview and update for UTILITY SCALE COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL SOLAR AND STORAGE - 201 (29:10 minutes)
  • FERC Allows Energy Storage to Play in Nationwide Wholesale Markets (.pdf)
  • President Biden Names Richard Glick as FERC Chair (.pdf)
  • 4 Big Challenges Facing FERC’s Plan to Open Up Power Markets to Distributed Energy (.pdf)
  • Warranties, Liquidated Damages and Performance Guarantees (08:33 minutes)
  • Review this Flyer on NREL's new software solution for configuring inverters quickly (.pdf)
  • Review this article on Autogrid's battery fleet management and aggregation... (.pdf)
  • Review this article from SolarWorld on: 2020 Top Solar Software and Monitoring Products
  • Review this article on: Siting, Permitting & Land Use for Utility-Scale Solar from SEIA
  • Software and Project Modeling Tools (15:27 minutes)
  • PVWatts Website
  • PVSyst
  • Aurora
  • Helioscope
  • Energy Toolbase
  • What's in your software? (.pdf)
  • Enjoy this brief Overview on Permitting, Code and Regulation (17:06 minutes)
  • Review the contents of the 2018 International Fire Code chapter 12
  • Examine the contents of the New York Battery Energy Storage System Guidebook. (.pdf)
  • Enjoy this Webinar on FERC Order 2222
  • Colleague Interview: Gene Bertsche (35:53 minutes)
  • Week 4 Wrap up - Week 5 Overview (09:56 minutes)
  • Week 4 Quiz
Module 5 • 18 assignments
Week Five

Assignments and Resources for week 5

  • Our Presentation on Commissioning and Security (38:22 minutes)
  • Safety considerations During ESS Commissioning (.pdf)
  • Protocol for Measuring the Performance of Energy Storage Systems (.pdf)
  • Colleague interview: David Del Vecchio - Commissioning Large Scale PV Systems safety. (01:20:02 hours)
  • Department of Energy Prohibition Order for Bulk-Power System Security (.pdf)
  • Utility ransomware attacks becoming more sophisticated (.pdf)
  • Colleague interview: Steve Tessler - Forcepoint (40:05 minutes)
  • APS Details Cause of Battery Fire and Explosion, Proposes Safety Fixes (.pdf)
  • Battery Energy Storage System Incidents and Safety: A Technical Analysis by UL (.pdf)
  • How the Energy Storage Industry Responded to the Arizona Battery Fire (.pdf)
  • With new safety measures in place, APS looks to reengage with BESS (.pdf)
  • UL Webinar - "Risk Mitigation Strategies for Large Scale Energy Storage System Projects"
  • UL Webinar - "Energy Storage Systems: What You Need to Know about UL 9540 and 9540A"
  • Operation and Maintenance for – UTILITY SCALE COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL SOLAR AND STORAGE 201 (33:01 minutes)
  • Best Practices for PV and Energy Storage Operation and Maintenance (.pdf)
  • Week 5 Wrap-up and Week 6 Overview (17:08 minutes)
  • Week 5 Quiz
Module 6 • 21 assignments
Week 6

Assignments and Resources for week 6

  • Optional Capstone Project Introduction (07:58 minutes)
  • Future Concepts (30:47 minutes)
  • Future Concepts - Christopher LaForge (06:30 minutes)
  • New Energy Infrastructure in the Age of Energy Transition
  • Inside Google’s Bid to Get Granular on Renewable Energy Credits (.pdf)
  • BP bets on energy trading to fund strategy shift after bumper year (.pdf)
  • Breakthrough Batteries (.pdf)
  • Investors are supporting Vanadium Redox Flow Technology
  • Carmakers want to ditch battery packs, use auto bodies for energy storage (.pdf)
  • This 100-Foot Catamaran Just Crossed the Atlantic Using Only Hydrogen Fuel and Solar Power (.pdf)
  • Energy Observer
  • A New Battery Chemistry Will Lead the Stationary Energy Storage Market by 2030 (.pdf)
  • Cold storage: Organic proton batteries show disposal, solar pairing advantages in advance to market (.pdf)
  • EnerVenue - Metal-Hydrogen battery
  • Tech innovation on the path to 2050 (.pdf)
  • Emrod claims it has Commercially Viable Long-Range Wireless Transmission Technology
  • To batteries and beyond (.pdf)
  • The final Colleague Interview (51:40 minutes)
  • Thermal Energy Storage Webinar Series Ice Thermal Energy Storage (.pdf)
  • Week 6 Review and Course Wrap-up (13:46 minutes)
  • Submit Your Optional Capstone Project
Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

  • NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours
  • NABCEP RE Elective
  • NABCEP Building or Fire Code
  • NABCEP PV Associate Renewal

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours

NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
36 36 6 30 32 2
0 12 0 0 0 0
35 30 6 18 32 2
24 36 6 18 32 2
24 36 6 18 32 2
36 36 0 18 12 2
0 36 6 10 32 2

NABCEP Registered Provider

This course counts towards the training requirements for taking NABCEP professional certification exams and CEUs for renewing all certifications.


  • Christopher LaForge

    Certified Master Trainer (IREC), NABCEP Certified Photovoltaic Professional - Emeritus , Great Northern Solar
    View profile

    Christopher LaForge is the CEO of Great Northern Solar and a NABCEP certified photovoltaic installer-emeritus. He has been designing, specifying, and installing systems since 1988. He has been an instructor with the MREA since 1993 teaching Advanced Photovoltaic design and installation and is an ISPQ Affiliated Master Trainer. In 2016 he was named IREC's Master Trainer... Learn more

  • Chris Brown

    Owner, Solamp Inc.
    View profile

    Chris Brown is passionate about the renewable energy and enthusiastic about sustainable solutions through technology and innovation. After completing his undergraduate education at the University of Massachusetts, Chris entered technical sales of renewable energy products 2006 with a focus on off grid renewable energy projects around the world. Several years later,... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 6 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board every Wednesday. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.


Based on 16 reviews
students have taken this course

Having been in the industry for over a decade this class proved to me that there is still a lot we can learn from each other. I enjoyed the interviews and the readings and I also realize that this industry is moving very quickly, so we need to stay up to date with the industry magazines, podcasts, and blogposts.

Kim Quirk
Storage Engineer, ReVision Energy
Azmat M
Patrick L

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