Resources

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.

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 »

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 »

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.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SOLAR-POWERED ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING

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.

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.

BARC Electric Co-Op: Community Solar Leader in Virginia

BARC, Electric Cooperative, is a customer-owned utility that will soon deploy the first community solar project in the commonwealth.

While serving approximately 30,000 members residents in 5 Virginia counties, the small co-op wants to help customers gain access to solar through community solar program.
BARC received the SolarOPs technical assistance, through SEPA, in the form of advisory services for program costs and procurement.
With SEPA’s assistance, the cooperative successfully received a $500,000 grant, with 50% matching by BARC, for the estimated 300-350 kW community solar program.