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.

Recycling Land for Solar Energy Development

A growing number of cities and counties are committed to becoming more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. However, many of these communities face pressing economic challenges that frustrate efforts to make progress toward sustainability goals. Those that have suffered decades of population and job losses, as well as those especially hard hit by the Great Read More »

Solar Powering Your Community: The Local Government Role in Increasing Solar Adoption Webinar

The Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities Outreach Partnership is focused on reducing barriers to solar adoption and increasing installed capacity by decreasing project execution time, revising zoning and building codes to allow for solar installations, and increasing access to financing options. This session examines the role that local governments can play in addressing challenges Read More »

Balancing Solar and Other Competing Interests in Communities Webinar

Communities have a range of goals and priorities. Sometimes, these goals can be in conflict with one another. Decisions in support of one goal may be to the detriment of another goal. Planners can help communities balance these competing interests and understand any tradeoffs. This webinar will present the potential competing interests between solar and Read More »

Community Shared Solar: Expansions Underway in Solar America Communities

Community shared solar is expanding rapidly as a model ownership structure for solar PV. By offering customers an option to purchase or lease part of a larger solar array instead of having to purchase the entire system, the model greatly expands participatory opportunities to a large new market segment of citizens and customers, with very low or no cost to local government. This report provides an overview of the status of community shared solar projects in Solar America Communities as of September, 2014, as well as some of the differences and similarities between the creation and structure of these programs.

Model Solar Guidelines: A Resource for North Carolina Homeowners’ Associations to Facilitate Solar Projects

As North Carolina’s residential solar market grows, more homeowners’ associations are facing uncertainties about how to deal with solar installations in their communities. As part of an effort between the State Energy Program, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and members of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (The Solar Foundation and the NC Clean Energy Technology Center), two new resources have been developed to help North Carolina homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and their architectural review committees work through these issues.

Solar Powering Your Community: Building Local Solar Markets

This workshop, provided by the Solar Outreach Partnership, was presented at the 2012 Transforming Local Government conference by the The Solar Foundation and Meister Consultants Group.  The presentation included case studies from Beaverton, Oregon and Gainesville, Florida. Solar Powering Your Community: Building Local Solar Markets Click for full resource.

Connecting to the Grid Guide 6th Edition

Net metering & interconnection policies are essential pieces of a supportive state-level regulatory policy framework addressing two important aspects of renewable energy development: whether a customer investing in renewable generation can unlock the full value of his or her investment; and how that customer will interconnect his or her generation system to the distribution grid. Read More »

2009 Model Net Metering Rules

On significant points such as size of systems eligible for net metering, program capacity caps, and treatment of annual excess generation, there has been broad variation between states. In an effort to capture this variation, IREC’s model rules now include footnotes that discuss the various approaches states have taken on these issues. 2009 Model Net Read More »

Field Inspection Guidelines for PV Systems 2010

According to its author, Bill Brooks of Brooks Engineering, the intent of the 2010 Guidelines is to consolidate the most important aspects of a field inspection into a simple process that can be performed in as little as 15 minutes. Explanation and illustrative pictures are provided to instruct the inspector on the specific details of each Read More »

The Intersection of Net Metering & Retail Choice: An Overview of Policy, Practice & Issues

In regulated states, net metering is a fairly straightforward process, involving a transaction between a utility and customer. In complex competitive markets, however, retail choice providers and distribution utilities must communicate in order to provide net metering for their customers. Furthermore, every state has a different set of laws and regulations that make it difficult for retail Read More »