Solar at Scale Guidebook

Large-scale solar energy systems are being deployed in communities across the country.  Based on preliminary U.S. Energy Information Administration data, it’s likely that more new large-scale solar facilities started generating power last year than all other new power plants combined. The first and second editions of the Solar@Scale guidebook have been widely recognized as useful resources for organizations and communities seeking to scale up solar energy deployment and understand both benefits and trade-offs. As solar energy moves to the forefront of clean energy alternatives, we have released the third edition of our Solar@Scale guidebook to keep this valuable resource up-to-date for community leaders and their stakeholders.



Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of renewable energy globally, setting up to be the dominant source of power by 2050. However, large-scale projects can present challenges for local governments and issues like interconnection bottlenecks and aging transmission infrastructure can create barriers to deployment. If you are looking for a guide to the role large-scale solar development can play in your community’s future, we encourage you to explore the latest edition of ICMA and APA’s Solar@Scale guidebook!

The third edition of the Solar@Scale guidebook is an essential resource for organizations seeking to scale up their solar energy deployment. The guidebook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date resource for project developers, investors, and policymakers and including topics like financing, land use policy, stakeholder engagement and regulatory issues as well as case studies of successful projects.  By leveraging the insights and best practices contained in the guidebook, organizations and communities can accelerate their transition to renewable energy and help build a more sustainable future for all.

What’s New in the 3rd Edition

As the federal and state policy landscape for large-scale solar development evolves, the third edition of our Solar@Scale guidebook is freshly updated to track changes in the development and implementation process, including:

  • New examples of policy efforts and projects.
  • Stronger emphasis on land-use decision-making processes as an implementation tool.
  • Sharpened guidance to help planners participate in the development review processes and public hearings.
  • References to dozens of new resources and examples of local practices along with new facts and figures that provide further insight into ever-changing market conditions.

Whether your community or organization is beginning its large-scale solar transition, or already among the rapidly growing number of host communities, the latest edition of the Solar@Scale guidebook is a valuable resource to help you meet this historic moment of transformation that will lead us into a more sustainable future.

Free Hands-on Workshops

To help local officials further their understanding of large-scale solar, ICMA is conducting a series of half-day hands-on workshops based on the Solar@Scale guidebook:

  • Free training customized to your interests, issues, and specific situation.
  • Educators leading the workshop are experienced in both the science and how solar projects fit in with such local government concerns as permitting.
  • All materials included.
  • Option for remote access.

No-cost in-person workshops only require meeting space, outreach to your staff and others interested in attending, and light coordination on logistics. Find out more from Debra Perry at and Casey Gilmartin at


New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!