These resources help communities explore financing mechanisms and other important financial considerations related to solar implementation. Highlights include: Financing 101, Solarize Programs, PACE, Aggregated Purchasing, Power Purchase Agreements, and Renewable Energy Credits.

Use the side bar on the left to navigate through the resource sub-categories.

Solar Financing and Economic Development

Understanding how solar PV projects are financed (and understanding the tools necessary to understand solar-related economic development) is critical for any local government looking to grow their local solar market. This toolkit is intended to provide readers with many of the key resources necessary for understanding both the basics of solar finance and economic development and some of the important nuances that must be considered when promoting or pursuing associated policies or other related activities.

Solarize Programs Toolkit

Solarize programs are a way for municipalities and other organizations to coordinate group purchases of solar systems through a community-based campaign. Solarize programs can lower the cost of solar installations, provide lasting increases in installation rates, and jump-start local solar markets. This toolkit provides an overview of the key issues and directs readers to comprehensive resources, best practices, and lessons learned from previously implemented Solarize campaigns.

Solarize South Jersey Webinar

Solarize campaigns take advantage of the improved economics achieved through bulk purchasing of solar equipment and installation services across multiple solar energy systems in a local community. This webinar featured insights on the state of the solar industry nationally and within New Jersey, and how local stakeholders can take steps to reduce the cost of Read More »

Renewable Cities

This brief highlights two very different financing mechanisms used by local governments in Georgetown, Texas and Rockford, Minnesota to increase their renewable energy. Georgetown is expected to get 100% of its electricity–at all times of the day and seasons of the year–from solar and wind energy. Rockford worked with its local electricity cooperative to site solar energy on otherwise unusable municipal property. The solar projects spearheaded by both local governments resulted in reduced electricity costs, saving taxpayer dollars.


Solarize is an effective means for communities to encourage the growth of local solar markets, and since 2009 more than 230 campaigns have been implemented in 25 states. Organizing a Solarize campaign can be a daunting task, and there is a great variety in the ways that a community could design and manage a campaign. This national survey of Solarize campaign organizers is intended to allow communities to learn from the experience of previous campaign and draw inspiration in the formation of their own campaigns. The report gauges common trends in program design, reveals the typical resource requirements and results of campaigns, and discusses common challenges and effective campaign strategies.

Regional Solar Deployment Handbook

This handbook created by the National Association of Regional Councils is a comprehensive guide to implementing solar energy at the regional level. The handbook identifies seven key strategies that regional councils can use to successfully drive solar adoption in their jurisdictions. Focused on regionally-specific actions, tools and case studies, this handbook seeks to be a Read More »

Regional Collaborative Procurement for Solar PV

Learn how through collaborative procurement, communities can reduce the up-front costs of solar installations by working together as a group to evaluate project sites, procure solar systems and negotiate contracts, thus yielding much lower transaction costs for each individual partner.  

Solar for Economic Development Toolkit

Most people are familiar with solar energy’s environmental benefits, but solar energy adoption also presents numerous economic and community development opportunities. Solar expands local markets, reduces electricity costs, improves business competitiveness, and increases property values. It leads to short term jobs in construction, installation, and site development as well as long term positions in facility Read More »

Bring Solar to Your Community: Themes, Summaries and Insights from 27 Case Studies

This document was developed by the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership to distill themes and insights of roof-top solar PV deployment gained from 27 case studies of local government efforts regarding policies, planning, investments, financing mechanisms, partnerships, and education.  The local governments featured include Ann Arbor, MI Asheville, NC Barnstable, MA Beaverton, OR Berea, KY Bristol, Read More »

Solar Case Study: Solarize Asheville

This case study provides detailed information on the Solarize program in Asheville, North Carolina. Solar Case Study: Solarize Asheville Click for full resource.

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