Solar Powering Sunnyside


The Solar Outreach Partnership is looking for pilot communities to test Solar Powering Sunnyside—a new participatory planning exercise from the American Planning Association designed to help communities think about solar development options from a land-use planning perspective. Through game play, participants will take on the roles of different community stakeholders in the fictional Town of Sunnyside in order to help set and meet the town’s annual solar power production goal.

In the first round of the game, participants will set a power production goal, discuss solar development opportunities and challenges associated with each of Sunnyside’s land uses, and place game pieces representing rooftop and freestanding solar energy systems of different sizes on a map of the town to achieve their goal. Then, in the second round participants will draw cards and roll the dice to see how community priorities—such as tree protection, historic preservation, or urban redevelopment—and alternative zoning approaches affect their initial solar development scenario.

Want to play? Contact APA to learn more about bringing Solar Powering Sunnyside to your community.

Draft Solar Powering Sunnyside Agenda


Who can host Solar Powering Sunnyside?
Solar Powering Sunnyside is designed to be hosted by local governmental planning agencies.

How many people do we need to play?
Solar Powering Sunnyside is ideal for groups of 10 to 40.

Who can play?
Solar Powering Sunnyside is designed as a community planning exercise, so it’s appropriate for local planners, public officials, residents, business owners, and anyone else that has an interest in how your community may want to use solar energy in the future.

How much does it cost to host?
Solar Powering Sunnyside is free; however, host communities are expected to assist the SolarOPs team with logistics.

How much do we need to know about solar energy before the activity?
While having an interest in learning more about the connections between land-use planning and solar energy use is important, participants do not need any special background in energy policy or planning to play.