Category Archives: Blog

The Solar Income Tax Credit Extension and Impacts on the Industry

The Solar Income Tax Credit Extension and Impacts on the Industry

July 13, 2016 by
The solar investment tax credit, or ITC, is one of the most important federal policies impacting the solar energy industry. The ITC offers a 30 percent income tax credit to owners or long-term lessees of a solar energy system that meets performance and quality standards. The credit is calculated based on the total cost of Read More »

Energy Department Launches Orange Button Initiative to Standardize Solar Data

May 3, 2016 by
When evaluating the financial risk involved with a solar energy project, many communities rely on fragmented datasets that vary widely in format, quality, and content. This creates a barrier for potential solar providers who seek an accurate understanding of potential markets. To overcome this issue, the Department of Energy recently announced the Orange Button initiative, Read More »

Equitable Access to the Sun: Together Be More Powerful and Effective

October 22, 2015 by
Imagine if you could suffice your home or business energy needs through harnessing the natural sun light without causing a serious dent on your bank account; would you consider adopting solar energy? Money may not always be the sole barrier to going solar. You may encounter other challenges such as not having adequate space to Read More »

Follow the Money: Utilizing Federally-Subsidized Bonds for Solar

As with many public projects, finding a way to pay for the upfront costs of a solar installation can be the largest stumbling block to a local government’s ambitions to go solar. One under-utilized source of financing is federally-subsidized bonds, particularly Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) or Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). While understanding and Read More »

NARC’s Regional Solar Deployment Tools

July 31, 2015 by
As demand for solar energy continues to grow, many local governments look for strategies to spur solar deployment in their communities. Regional planning organizations are in a prime position to provide tools, guidance, and technical assistance to their member governments to help them increase local solar adoption. The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), as Read More »

Solar Outreach Partnership Finds Massive Untapped Solar Potential at K-12 Schools

June 1, 2015 by
In September 2014, The Solar Foundation – working under the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) – published a first-of-its-kind study investigating the use of solar energy at K-12 schools across the United States. This report, entitled Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools – found that 3,752 public and Read More »

Excerpts from “Ask an Expert” – April and May 2015

May 13, 2015 by
Here is a sample of some of the submitted Ask an Expert questions from April – May 2015: Please keep in mind when reviewing these responses that it is not the role of the Solar Outreach Partnership to provide legal or tax advice, and nothing herein should be construed as such. These responses are provided Read More »

SunShot Catalyst Seeks Solar Software Solutions

April 6, 2015 by
The Department of Energy (DOE) launched SunShot Catalyst last May to propel the development of products that address problems and challenges seen in the United States solar industry. The program facilitates collaboration among solar experts, software developers, and entrepreneurs, and provides them with access to a multitude of tools, capabilities, and data sets to build Read More »

Making Solar Accessible: Addressing Split-Incentives in Multi-Unit Buildings

February 13, 2015 by
By Kate Daniel and Ben Inskeep Imagine an American city, and you’re likely to think of large, high rise apartment and office buildings. What you may not think of, however, are solar panels on the top of these buildings.  Multi-unit buildings offer great potential for hosting solar energy systems:  there are lots of them, they Read More »

Ask and Expert for the week of January 5th, 2015

January 7, 2015 by
Here is a sample of some of the submitted Ask an Expert questions for the week of January 5th, 2015: Please keep in mind when reviewing these responses that it is not the role of the Solar Outreach Partnership to provide legal or tax advice, and nothing herein should be construed as such. These responses Read More »