DOE Announces Resources to Help Communities Benefit from Solar Energy
Updated publications offer valuable information on adopting and financing solar technologies across the United States
February 09, 2011
As part of the Department of Energy's SunShot initiative to dramatically reduce the cost of installed solar energy by the end of the decade, DOE today introduced the second edition of Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments. The guide is a comprehensive resource that will help communities accelerate their adoption of solar energy technologies. Additionally, the guide is intended to help communities better understand the steps necessary to permit and license solar energy installations and how to streamline those processes, which can deliver significant savings in the total costs of installing solar systems.
Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments also offers guidance for communities on how to develop a plan for expanding the use of solar energy and ways for local governments to tailor their approach to implementing solar projects based on their community and local circumstances.
In addition to including the most recent lessons learned and successes from 25 Solar America Cities and other communities advancing solar, the second edition of the guide includes new policy and market developments that have emerged since the first edition was published in July 2009. New topics covered in this updated edition include third-party residential financing, community solar financing, solar-ready building guidelines, and hosting of wholesale photovoltaic (PV) systems on local government property. Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments is available online.
DOE also recently released a publication aimed at helping communities advance local solar markets—the Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development. This targeted guide provides information on organizing community solar projects, which allow multiple community members to share ownership and benefit from the electricity generated by a single PV installation. For renters and other community members unable to install PV systems on their own property, community-based cooperative relationships provide cost-effective, innovative financing, and ownership models for investing in clean, reliable energy.
The guide includes information on project sponsorship models, emerging state policies, tax policies and incentives, securities issues, and project planning support. The Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development is available online.
The Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Program conducts aggressive research, development, and deployment of solar energy technologies and systems to significantly increase market penetration and reduce the cost of solar electricity. To learn more, visit the Solar Energy Technologies Program website.