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SolSmart Introduces the 2018 City and County Challenge for Solar Energy

Local governments play a fundamental role in shaping energy choices in their communities. To help them make informed decisions, SolSmart is encouraging cities and counties to apply for the 2018 SolSmart City and County Challenge for Solar Energy. This exciting opportunity, which is administered by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), will allow the prize recipients to influence the success of solar energy development in their respective communities and move toward designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

This year, SolSmart is offering brand-new prize opportunities for local governments seeking to install solar on their facilities or land. Cities and counties can enter to win any or all of the following advanced solar technical assistance options:

  • A “techno-economic analysis” for solar installations on up to five community sites; and/or
  • Drafting and/or review of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for municipal solar installations; and/or
  • Guidance on how to customize a model Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for municipal solar installations.

The “techno-economic analysis,” generated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will examine technical performance and financial considerations for proposed solar installations to help a community better understand the costs and benefits of proposed solar projects.br />
There are two categories for entry based on city or county size: 1) small cities or counties with a population of 100,000 or fewer, and 2) large cities or counties with populations greater than 100,000. Four winners will be selected – a city and county from each category – based on a review by a three-person committee that will weigh the feasibility of the request, demonstrated need, and impact. The Challenge will run until Friday, September 21, 2018.

SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program for local governments funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The program promotes the use of best practices by local governments to streamline solar processes and increase affordability and accessibility for residents and businesses. All communities can access no-cost technical assistance, even outside of this Challenge. To date, SolSmart has over 200 designees who have achieved SolSmart designation for fostering the growth of local solar markets in their cities and counties.

For more information visit SolSmart’s webpage.

For additional information:
Zach Greene
SolSmart Program Director
zgreene@solarfound.org

For resources and tools related to sustainability, visit the Center for Sustainability (C4S) and C4S Toolkit.