SolSmart Announces New Partners to Advance Local Solar Energy Growth
Local solar advisor groups to focus on underserved communities
Washington, DC, July 21, 2021 – The national SolSmart program has selected new Advisor organizations to provide hands-on local assistance helping communities from Idaho to Puerto Rico encourage the growth of solar energy. SolSmart is also announcing three new national partners that will help local governments across the nation go solar.
The SolSmart program offers no-cost technical assistance to help municipalities, counties, and regional organizations remove barriers to solar energy growth and open up local solar markets. Since SolSmart launched in 2016, more than 400 communities have achieved designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze.
The new Advisor organizations will focus on reaching underserved communities which may lack the staff or resources to achieve their solar energy goals. Selected through a competitive application process, SolSmart Advisors provide intensive assistance on solar energy to select communities for up to seven months.
“With their local knowledge and technical expertise, SolSmart Advisors have been essential to the success of this program,” said Theresa Perry, Program Director at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). “We are very excited to welcome these new Advisors and partners, particularly to help extend the benefits of solar energy to underserved communities.”
SolSmart is led by IREC and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The four organizations selected to serve as SolSmart-funded Advisors include:
- The Institute for Building and Technology Safety (IBTS), focusing on municipalities in Puerto Rico.
- The Utah Association of Counties, focused on rural counties and regional organizations in Utah.
- Warm Springs Consulting LLC, focusing on Idaho and neighboring rural areas.
- UNPREDICTABLEcity, focusing on Ohio communities.
In addition, the state of Michigan will sponsor the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Office, which will help additional communities in the state achieve SolSmart designation. The Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) will provide a funded AmeriCorps volunteer to provide technical assistance to Ohio communities.
More information about these Advisor organizations can be found on the SolSmart website.
“With their local knowledge and technical expertise, SolSmart Advisors have been essential to the success of this program. We are very excited to welcome these new Advisors and partners, particularly to help extend the benefits of solar energy to underserved communities.Theresa Perry, Program Director at IREC
New Partner Organizations
The program includes a team of partner organizations with expertise in solar energy and local governments. SolSmart is now pleased to announce three new partner organizations to the team:
- National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO): NASEO will help increase state energy office awareness of opportunities to participate in SolSmart, and increase the participation of states currently underrepresented in SolSmart.
- National Association of Regional Councils (NARC): NARC will assist the SolSmart Program in the outreach, recruitment, and onboarding of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government and Regional Councils for SolSmart designation.
- NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF): NADO RF will encourage member Regional Development Organizations to explore the resources and technical assistance provided through SolSmart.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. More than 400 local governments in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have achieved SolSmart designation, representing 101 million Americans. SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association. Learn more at SolSmart.org.
Gwen Brown, Communications Director, Interstate Renewable Energy Council | [email protected] | 650-423-1090