ICMA, through the Department of Energy-funded SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, is conducting outreach to share best practices related to increasing solar adoption on the local level with local governments across the country. Solar energy can have a number of benefits for communities – it can help create jobs, stimulate investment in the local economy, promote energy independence, and address air and water quality concerns. And local governments are well positioned to address many of the barriers to solar energy adoption, including complicated and time-consuming permitting and interconnection procedures, financing challenges, and a lack of awareness about solar technologies among local stakeholders.
As part of these efforts, ICMA has a series of podcasts about what local governments are spur solar adoption in their jurisdictions. These podcasts, available here, highlight what local governments have done to overcome challenges related to solar adoption, including engaging the community, partnering with the private sector, revising permitting procedures and zoning codes, and finding ways to finance solar programs. Podcasts also focus on lessons learned and advice for communities looking to start solar initiatives.
ICMA is also holding webinars on local governments and solar adoption. Webinar topics have included solar on brownfields, capped landfills, and contaminated sites (available here) and installing solar on municipal facilities. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a partner in the Solar Outreach Partnership, is also hosting a series of webinars. The archive is available here.
For more information on upcoming Solar Outreach Partnership events or to ask questions about solar in your community, be sure to check out the Solar Energy topic page on the Knowledge Network and join the Solar Energy group.
SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership
The SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to increase the use and integration of solar energy in communities across the United States. The International City-County Management Association (ICMA) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and their partners were competitively selected by DOE to conduct outreach to local governments across the United States, enabling them to replicate successful solar practices and quickly expand local adoption of solar energy. The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar energy systems cost-competitive with other forms of energy before 2020. To drive down the cost of solar electricity, the U.S. Department of Energy is supporting efforts by private companies, academia, and national laboratories.