ASTI Newsletter | April 2014 Edition | By Stephen Wolcott
The Solar Roadmap provides jurisdictions with a valuable platform to showcase their solar achievements, including participation in national- and state-level clean energy recognition programs. Participating in recognition programs is an effective way to showcase a community’s advancements, enhance its public image, and also raise its profile at a national level. Currently, there are over ten recognition programs available to ASTI cities and counties, several of which are highlighted below.
National program: Green Power Communities
The EPA’s Green Power Communities program available to communities nationwide, regardless of population size. As the one of the most high-profile national sustainabilty programs, participating in the Green Power Communities program represents a community’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more livable communities. Currently, there are ten ASTI communities that are participating in the EPA Green Power Communities program, spanning from California, Utah, and Colorado to Maryland, and Washington D.C.
To become a Green Power Community, a community must first meet or exceed the EPA’s green power minimum usage requirement, which ranges from 3 to 20% depending upon total annual usage. Green power may be procured directly from on-site renewable generations, renewable energy credits, and utility products. In return, a participating community will receive access to the EPA’s resources and expert advice, as well as national recognition and the opportunity to participate in the annual Green Power Challenge, a competitive ranking of communities utilizing the greatest share and amount of green power.
If your jurisdiction is interested in becoming a Green Power Community, please contact your ASTI Project Manager or visit the program website.
At the state level, recognition programs may be organized by non-profit organizations, solar industry associations, and more. ASTI communities in Arizona are participating in the Arizona Solar Challenge, an effort managed by the non-profit Arizona SmartPower that engages cities within Arizona to install rooftop solar on 5% of owner-occupied homes by 2015. Arizona SmartPower assists communities with community engagement and education to reach the 5% penetration target and gain the “Arizona Solar Community” designation.
In Colorado, ASTI communities in Colorado are leveraging their individualized Solar Roadmaps to help them become a Solar Friendly Community. The Solar Friendly Communities program recognizes communities that take actions to streamline their solar permitting systems and rewards them with installer discounts. ASTI participants can utilize the Solar Roadmap’s permitting goals and the ASTI team’s technical expertise to streamline their permitting process and qualify as a Solar Friendly Community.
Regional project managers will reach out to ASTI cities in the next month to discuss recognition programs and the opportunity to be rewarded for solar market achievements.