ICLEI USA Roundtable at the APA Conference

Are you interested in financing for community solar? Join the ICLEI USA roundtable discussion at theAmerican Planning Association Conference in Seattle:

Financing Mechanisms for Community-Scale Solar

Where: WSCC–211 Room, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA

When: Sunday April 19th, 1:00–2:15 p.m.

You’ll learn about:

· Different financing models for community-scale solar projects

· The preconditions necessary for each model

· How each model affects the spatial deployment of solar energy systems



  • Alexander Winn, Program Director, The Solar Foundation
  • Suzanne DuRard, Community Solar Program Manager Conservation Resources Division, Seattle City Light
  • David Morley, AICP , Senior Research Associate, American Planning Association
  • Joshua Huneycutt, U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, Department of Energy
  • Monica Gilchrist, Deputy Executive Director, ICLEI USA
  • Saharnaz Mirzazad-AICP, Policy Associate, ICLEI USA



An increasing number of individuals, organizations, and localities are taking advantage of the benefits of solar energy, but cost remains a major barrier to broader participation. Consequently, most of the growth in the U.S. solar market growth has been driven by demand from individual property owners and utilities, leaving renters, owners without adequate solar access, and other individuals and organizations that lack the upfront capital to finance a solar energy system out of the picture. And planners working in or with communities interested in promoting solar energy use often struggle with how best to promote “community-scale” solar initiatives, programs and projects that dramatically increase local solar production while conferring benefits on those otherwise unable to invest in private solar energy systems. Fortunately, there are a number of emerging models to help a wider range of community members’ support and share in the financial benefits of a transition to a cleaner energy future. This facilitated discussion will explore existing financing mechanisms for community-scale solar initiatives, including utility-sponsored model, Special Purpose Entity (SPE) Model, and non-profit “Buy a Brick” model. The facilitators will include subject matter experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership and a representative from Seattle City Light to present a community solar project challenges from local government perspective.

If you have any questions, contact Saharnaz Mirzazad (saharnaz.mirzazad@iclei.org).

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