Utility Scale Commercial & Industrial Solar and Storage 201


Instructors: Christopher LaForge, Chris Brown

Subjects: Solar: Batteries and Storage, Solar: NABCEP

Length: 6 weeks


What Utilities need to know to plan and design Commercial and Industrial Utility Grade Energy Storage systems. Beginning with an overview of the current available technologies the course focuses on planning Commercial, Industrial and Utility applications.

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Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. Get access to all of the course materials as soon as you enroll. The instructor-led session will begin on the scheduled start date. During the session dates the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After the instructor-led session ends, you'll continue to have access to all of the course materials for a full year and can complete the course at your own pace.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after the session end date. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. 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.

Earn A Certificate of Completion

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.


Christopher LaForge

Certified Master Trainer (IREC), Great Northern Solar

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...[more]

Chris Brown

Director of Business Development , Aypa Power

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,...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can complete the material whenever is convenient and work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. The course discussion board is a great place to interact with other students and ask questions. Expect to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the course. The instructor-led session runs for the posted dates and you will receive weekly emails to keep you on pace. Course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after the session ends. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (Video - 01:25 minutes) preview
  • Instructor Introduction and Key Concepts Review (Video - 09:16 minutes)
  • Orientation to: UTILITY SCALE C&I SOLAR AND STORAGE: PART 2/2 (Video - 15:42 minutes)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Week 1 - Week 1

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

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

Assignments and Resources for week 3

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

Assignments and Resources for week 4

  • Warranties, Liquidated Damages and Performance Guarantees (Video - 08:33 minutes)
  • An emerging push for time-of-use rates sparks new debates about customer and grid impacts (Download .pdf)
  • Congress Passes Spending Bill With Solar, Wind Tax Credit Extensions and Energy R&D Package (Download .pdf)
  • The battle for control of virtual power plants is just beginning (Download .pdf)
  • Colleague Interview: Gene Bertsche (Video - 35:53 minutes)
Week 5 - Week Five

Assignments and Resources for week 5

  • Colleague interview: Steve Tessler - Forcepoint (Video - 40:05 minutes)
  • Department of Energy Prohibition Order for Bulk-Power System Security (Download .pdf)
  • Utility ransomware attacks becoming more sophisticated (Download .pdf)
  • APS Details Cause of Battery Fire and Explosion, Proposes Safety Fixes (Download .pdf)
  • How the Energy Storage Industry Responded to the Arizona Battery Fire (Download .pdf)
  • With new safety measures in place, APS looks to reengage with BESS (Download .pdf)
Week 6 - Week 6

Assignments and Resources for week 6

  • Future Concepts (Video - 30:47 minutes)
  • New Energy Infrastructure in the Age of Energy Transition (Resource)
  • Breakthrough Batteries (Download .pdf)
  • This 100-Foot Catamaran Just Crossed the Atlantic Using Only Hydrogen Fuel and Solar Power (Download .pdf)
  • Energy Observer (Resource)
  • A New Battery Chemistry Will Lead the Stationary Energy Storage Market by 2030 (Download .pdf)
  • Cold storage: Organic proton batteries show disposal, solar pairing advantages in advance to market (Download .pdf)
  • Tech innovation on the path to 2050 (Download .pdf)
  • To batteries and beyond (Download .pdf)
  • The final Colleague Interview (Video - 51:40 minutes)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials for 12 months after the session ends. Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership.

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