Peer Learning

Solar + Battery Storage to Support Community Resilience

St. Paul, MN | May 8, 2017

Peer Learning Recap

Innovations in solar and battery storage are making it possible to use solar energy to support community facilities such as shelters, medical centers and emergency facilities during power outages. From New York and San Francisco to Duluth and Salt Lake, communities across the country are considering how they can incorporate the use of solar into their resilience plans. This interactive workshop introduced participants to best practices, tools and resources in resilient solar that are now available to communities interested in solar and battery storage.

Attendees of this workshop learned from leading national and city experts about:

  • Why and how your community can support solar+storage projects
  • Best practices for identifying local opportunities and priorities for solar+ storage
  • Project design process, tools and key considerations
  • How to work effectively with stakeholders
  • Funding and financing best practices
  • Practical tips for permitting and interconnection
  • Case examples from New York, San Francisco, Baltimore and more!



May 8, 2017 | 12:30-5:00 pm


Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention Center
175 West Kellogg Blvd
Saint Paul, MN 55102


An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 26 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 110 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in Asia and the United States. Learn more at:


This workshop was for local leaders, including municipal and regional officials, planners, nonprofit leaders and citizens who want to learn how to implement solar and battery storage across their community.

Resource Team:

Bret Pence
Solar Coordinator
Bret Pence currently serves as Solar Coordinator for Ecolibrium3. In this capacity, he is taking the lead on Solar Market Pathways (SMP) communications and customer support. Previously, Bret coordinated the effort to retrofit the Hartley Nature Center with battery storage that would enable the building’s solar energy system to function during emergencies. He also supervised multi-year commercial energy efficiency projects and administers the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program. Bret holds a master’s degree in management, with a focus in organization and sustainable development, from the College of St. Scholastica.

Debra Perry
Program Director
Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)
Deb Perry currently serves as a Program Director on the Institute for Sustainable Communities’ (ISC) Urban Program team. In this role, she works with communities and local leaders across the U.S. to advance their sustainability goals. Since 2015, Deb has led ISC’s work to support the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Solar Market Pathways (SMP) program. Deb has more than 15 years of experience working on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Prior to joining ISC in 2011, Deb was a Regional Planner for the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Vermont and led their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program activities. She also served as a Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, providing technical assistance on renewable energy in the Greater Boston Area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a master’s degree in natural resource planning from the University of Vermont, and she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Sherry Stout
Engineer, Integrated Applications Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Sherry Stout currently serves an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Integrated Applications Center. She has extensive experience working with developing communities and tribes in the areas of energy and water development. Sherry’s research interests include the use of advanced technologies for resiliency and disaster recovery, the synergy of water and energy development and use and the interaction between technology and society. Sherry has expertise in sustainable development at the community scale, case study research and data analysis.

Kathryn Wright
Meister Consultants Group (MCG)
Kathryn Wright is a consultant for Meister Consultants Group (MCG). In this role, she works with municipalities and the private sector on solar energy, climate preparedness and efficiency projects in the U.S. Kathryn provides technical assistance and expertise to policymakers and municipal staff through the Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Ready II and Solar Outreach Partnership programs. Her research supports the DOE’s Ask an Expert programs. In her recent work, Kathryn co-authored a paper analyzing fixed charges and standby costs for distributed solar in the U.S., and was part of a research team that assisted the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in analyzing solar market development volatility. Previously, Kathryn worked with the Center for Business and Environment at Yale (CBEY) and the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance Investment Authority (CEFIA) as part of the Sunrise New England team, and served on the Yale University SEEDs grant research team to evaluate different renewable energy and efficiency marketing approaches, including Solarize Connecticut. Kathryn received a graduate degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on industrial ecology and energy.



This is the agenda for the Using Solar + Battery Storage to Support Community Resilience pre-National Adaptation Forum event.

Slides from Deb Perry's presentation, Solar + Battery Storage to Support Community Resilience.

Slides from Bret Pence and Dr. Alison Hoxie's presentation, Hartley Solar Plus Storage

Slides from Kathryn Wright and Daniella Leifer's presentation, Implementation Challenges and Resources.

Slides from Kathryn Wright's presentation, Overview of DG Hub + Resilient Solar Roadmap.