Planning 101

This section includes resources that provide an introduction to different planning options for solar.

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 Powering Your Community Workshop: Dubuque, Iowa

This interactive workshop, presented by the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, provided actionable information on creating a local-level solar program in the Dubuque region on March 10, 2015. Areas of focus included: energy planning to facilitate solar installations; state and local incentives for solar energy; innovative financing options for solar projects; and why solar is viable Read More »

Planning for Solar Energy Podcast

The American Planning Association’s Michael Johnson and David Morley discuss a new series of briefing papers to help bring planners and public officials up to speed on some key issues related to planning for solar energy. Planning for Solar Energy Podcast Click for full resource.

Guide to Implementing Solar PV for Local Governments

Implementing municipal solar PV and other renewable energy is an effective way to achieve a municipality’s overall Energy Management goals and provide significant benefits for a community. This guide provides municipalities with a general overview to make them aware of potential considerations and possible options available, as they seek to implement solar PV.

Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy: Annotated Bibliography

The American Planning Association compiled a list of resources on aspects of solar energy implementation. Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy: Annotated Bibliography Click for full resource.

FAQ: Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy

The American Planning Association has compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding planning and zoning for solar energy FAQ: Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Click for full resource.

Solar Community Engagement Strategies for Planners

Planners work to improve the sustainability and livability of their communities. They are uniquely positioned and qualified to promote policies and practices that improve downtowns and neighborhoods, lessen human impacts on the environment, strengthen local economies, and engage community members in analyzing issues, generating visions, developing plans, and monitoring outcomes (Godschalk and Anderson 2012). For Read More »

Planning for Solar Energy Quicknotes

There is a growing desire among communities to become more sustainable. Energy conservation and renewable energy production (including solar energy) play a significant role in community sustainability goals. Public officials and engaged citizens have many opportunities throughout the planning process to help support and advance solar energy initiatives in their communities. Planning for Solar Energy Quicknotes Read More »

WEBINAR: Putting Solar Energy Use on the Local Policy Agenda

The first webinar in the Promoting Solar Energy Use Through Local Planning series. This webinar will explain why communities should be planning for solar energy use and offer some guidance to planners, public officials, and engaged citizens to help them initiate and facilitate conversations about solar in their communities.