The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a report recently describing the finance landscape for public school systems in California. We at Gravity found the report’s discussion of master planning particularly exciting, since we believe this is the most effective way for end-users to approach on-site renewables.

Here’s a section in which the report’s authors discuss master planning as it relates to bond financing for solar projects:

The pursuit of Solar Master Plans is a key element in this planning process. Specific sites can be identified, their solar resources can be characterized, and an estimate of costs can be determined to create a priority list of installations. By creating this list of qualified projects a district will be ready to include them in the next funding cycle, instead of inserting vague language stating that some of the proceeds will be used for renewable energy projects and taking the risk of losing them to other investment priorities.

Beyond bond financing, master planning helps schools and other consumers understand the whole range of financing options.