Welcome! The SolarOPs Resource Center connects you to the resources that best fit your needs. Aimed at local governments, resources are arranged sequentially to help along the solar process – Beginning, Financing, Planning, Implementing, and Training. There are also four document criteria definitions – Case Study, Video, Toolkit, and Date of Publication. Click the boxes below to view the resources in each category.

Resource Hub: Using Solar Energy to Enhance Community Resilience

Broadly, resilience refers to the ability of a community – its systems, institutions, and residents – to adapt to changing conditions or to recover from an emergency event or disaster. As awareness of the risks posed by a changing climate grows, an increasing number of communities have identified resilience as a key component of sustainability. Read More »

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.

Making the Case for Solar Toolkit

Distributed solar energy has benefits for residents and business owners, municipal governments, and the electric grid. For local governments, solar energy can create jobs and opportunities for local economic development while also providing environmental benefits and contributing to a changing power sector. This toolkit provides general resources on solar, focusing on myths and misconceptions and the costs and benefits of solar.

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.

Solar Zoning and Access Toolkit

One effective way for municipal governments to enable solar energy in their communities is through solar ordinances. Addressing solar in a municipality’s zoning code can ensure that solar installations are safe, standardized, and effective. Solar access laws can ensure that residents and business owners have the right to install and benefit from solar installations on their property. This toolkit provides an overview of key issues and directs readers to comprehensive resources, best practices, and model ordinances.

Residential and Commercial ITC Factsheets

The 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) is among the most important incentives currently available for solar PV. These two guides–one for homeowners and one on the commercial ITC–provide a concise, yet thorough, overview of the ITC, demystifying byzantine tax code with intuitive explanations and examples, answering frequently asked questions, and explaining the process of claiming the ITC. Read More »

Solar Success Stories: How Resources Created Under The Solar Outreach Partnership Have Helped Communities Shine

Resources created under the Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) help local governments and community members better understand solar markets, policy implications, and the benefits of going solar. This case study describes how four resources created under SolarOPs have made a tangible impact in helping communities accelerate solar adoption.

Solar Powering Your Community: Augusta, GA

This interactive workshop, presented by the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, provided actionable information on creating a local-level solar program in the Lower and Central Savannah River area on November 13, 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 Read More »

Utility Ownership of Rooftop Solar PV

Utility Ownership of Rooftop Solar PV: An Emerging Business Model for Municipal Utilities provides an overview of the issues and opportunities a municipal utility is likely to encounter in the development of a utility-owned rooftop solar program. Prepared by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center and Meister Consultants Group, the report describes business models and important considerations for designing a program, drawing on case studies from three existing utility programs.


This report is intended to help local governments learn more about the opportunities available to them in solar-powered electric vehicle charging and navigate the policy and regulatory environment surrounding this technology.

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