February 29, 2012
Santa Clara, CA – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Optony Inc and it’s partner Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) a major grant to lead regional teams of municipal and campus partners to advance solar power adoption by homeowners and businesses across the Southwest. As part of the Southwest Solar Transformation Initiative (SSTI), Optony an SEI will drive market maturity across over 50 jurisdictions, where solar potential is abundant, but municipal resources and industry information are scarce. The aim of the Rooftop Solar Challenge is to cut red tape by “streamlining and standardizing permitting, zoning, metering and connection processes – and improving finance options to reduce barriers and lower costs for residential and smaller commercial rooftop solar systems.”
On December 1, 2011, the U.S. DOE approved first year budgets for the twenty-two consortia applicants, with SSTI team receiving the largest funding award, committing to address solar market barriers across the broadest geographic region. “Transforming solar markets across the Southwest will unlock the massive potential in under-served regions while accomplishing state and federal goals for economic growth through clean technology deployment,” said Senior Vice-President for Optony, Ben Foster.
“We are honored to be one of the twenty-two teams selected nationally to assist the U.S. Department of Energy in addressing the real and perceived barriers that prevent our communities from enjoying the environmental and economic benefits of solar power,” said Cyane Dandridge, Executive Director for SEI.
For this first year, SSTI efforts will focus on constructing the framework for this regional effort, developing roadmaps for local jurisdiction engagement for improved solar adoption – that includes a centralized online technical resource center and solar project support hotline – with an eye towards engaging cities to aggressively adopt and tailor solar-friendly policies and programs.
For more information on the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative and Rooftop Solar Challenge, visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/
Periodic program updates and news can be found on the DOE Rooftop Solar Challenge webpage.