This summer I had the pleasure of working within the UMass Clean Energy Extension with my advisors Dwayne Breger and Zara Dowling conducting a financial analysis on pollinator-friendly and conventional solar development. Over the course of the last three months, I was able to sharpen my analytical skills and knowledge of Massachusetts energy policy through applying what I learned in my coursework so far at UMass to a real world problem. I collected data from government databases and private contractors to make cost estimates on site establishment, certification, and site management for both pollinator-friendly and conventional solar projects, then examined the impact of these costs and the value of the adder through running over 200 scenarios and observing each scenarios cost-benefit ratio, net present value, and rate of return to assess whether project investment was justified under various conditions.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of this program as I have gained invaluable experience within the clean energy and environmental policy field. My time as a CAFE summer scholar is one that I am incredibly grateful for and I am looking forward to continuing my work in the UMass Clean Energy Extension this fall.