Solar Chicago case study

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the City of Chicago a SunShot grant to reduce solar soft costs, or the non-hardware costs of solar.  With this grant, Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the Chicago Solar Express program, streamlining the city’s permitting, zoning, and interconnection processes. By 2014, the City had a newly streamlined solar permitting process and was named the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Earth Hour Capital of the U.S. With these new advances, the city was ready to take the next step: encourage more solar installation activity. To accomplish this, the city decided to implement a solar bulk purchasing, or “solarize”, campaign for the City of Chicago.  This case study details the approach and results of the Solar Chicago bulk purchasing program.