U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Local Governments

Utilities, Local Governments, and Solar Podcast

In this podcast, Becky Campbell, a Research Manager with the Solar Electric Power Association, discusses utilities and solar. This podcast covers what utilities see as some of the benefits and concerns when it comes to solar, and how local governments can effectively work with utilities to go solar.  To learn more about SEPA visit www.solarelectricpower.org.

Lenox, Massachusetts, Solar Case Study

Lenox, a small town in the Berkshire Hills, is a Massachusetts Green Community. As a Green Community, Lenox received grant funding from the state, and the town has invested a portion of this funding into a grant program to help residents install solar on their homes. With neighboring Pittsfield, Lenox is also participating in the SolarizeMass program, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and participating communities around the state.

Location:
Lenox, Massachusetts
United States

Solarize Case Study

In March 2012, the cities of West Linn and Lake Oswego, Oregon, launched Solarize West Linn-Lake Oswego, a community-led solar initiative, supported by both cities, Clackamas County, and a grant from the city of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Clackamas County also supported a Solarize campaign along with the county’s Oregon State University extension service – Growing Solar Clackamas County. 

Locations:
West Linn, Oregon
United States
Lake Oswego, Oregon
United States
Clackamas County, Oregon
United States

Santa Barbara, California, Solar Case Study

Santa Barbara, California, has made solar a priority. The city has several municipal installations, a robust set of solar design guidelines, and a Solar Design Reconition Program, which recognizes excellence in design of both active and passive solar systems. The city also supported the local Solarize Santa Barbara campaign.

Location:
Santa Barbara, California
United States

Powering Your Community With Solar: Overcoming Market and Implementation Barriers (Fact Sheet)

This document introduces the Energy Department's new Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems. The guide is designed for 'green' consumers, utilities, local governments, and community groups who want to replicate the success of the Solarize Portland model, overcome barriers to implementation, and permanently transform the market for solar energy in their communities.

Increasing Community Access to Solar: Designing and Developing a Shared Solar Photovoltaic System (Fact Sheet)

This document introduces the Energy Department's new Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development. The guide is designed to help those who want to develop community shared solar projects - from community organizers and advocates to utility managers and government officials - navigate the process of developing shared systems, from early planning to implementation.

Funding Solar Projects at Federal Agencies: Mechanisms and Selection Criteria (Brochure)

Implementing solar energy projects at federal facilities is a process. The project planning phase of the process includes determining goals, building a team, determining site feasibility and selecting the appropriate project funding tool. This fact sheet gives practical guidance to assist decision-makers with understanding and selecting the funding tool that would best address their site goals.

Utility-Scale Concentrating Solar Power and Photovoltaics Projects: A Technology and Market Overview

Over the last several years, solar energy technologies have been, or are in the process of being, deployed at unprecedented levels. A critical recent development, resulting from the massive scale of projects in progress or recently completed, is having the power sold directly to electric utilities. Such 'utility-scale' systems offer the opportunity to deploy solar technologies far faster than the traditional 'behind-the-meter' projects designed to offset retail load.

Solar Powering Your Community Workshop - Addressing Soft Costs and Barriers

These slides are from an interactive workshop, presented by the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2012.  The workshop was designed to provide actionable information on overcoming local-level barriers to solar, addressing soft costs, and implementing a successful local solar program in areas including:  1) revising zoning codes and ordinances to allow for solar; 2) streamlining permitting processes to facilitate solar installations; 3) financing solar projects; and 4) installing solar on municipal and other community facilities.

Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States

Profiles in Regional Solar Planning: A Handbook and Resource Guide

The Guide is intended to provide guidance specifically to regional planning organizations on the unique roles they can play to move solar energy deployment forward in their regions. By focusing on case studies and regionally-specific tools, the Guide seeks to be a practical and applicable resource for taking full advantage of the opportunities in regional solar energy deployment.

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