brossi1Brian Ross, Senior Program Director, Great Plains Institute

“We have a narrative that we use when we talk with communities about their solar resource and their need to promote it. We’ll first ask a community, well, let’s talk about oil and gas. If you discovered tomorrow that you had oil reserves, you would want to start planning for how you’d develop that, right? And then we ask, what are your solar reserves? Because the same concepts all apply. Your local solar reserves are something that you can actually measure, you can put an economic value on it, it’s in your community, it’s an asset, it’s a resource, and there are people who want to develop it.”

“SolSmart is a valuable tool because it provides a pathway for communities to take action; action that’s been certified and verified by a third party. Twenty years ago, no local government did energy planning. But today, it’s not that uncommon for a community to do an energy plan, or a climate action plan, or include an energy component in any comprehensive plan. Because of that transformation, because local governments recognize they have a stake in how energy is produced and used, there is a real value to a program like SolSmart. SolSmart provides a pathway to sustainability, to recognition of progress, and a clear pathway to action.”

The Solar Foundation is the lead technical assistance provider for SolSmart, a program that provides no-cost technical assistance to help cities and counties make solar more affordable and accessible. Communities that achieve these goals receive official designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Learn more about how your support can help more Americans meet their electricity needs through solar.