SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership

From September 2010 to July 2016 APA worked with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), and alongside ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability on the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Through this effort, APA and its partners provided outreach, training, and technical assistance to local and regional governments to make it easier for residents, businesses, and property owners within their jurisdictions to use solar energy. DOE's compilation of best practices titled "Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments" served as a foundation for the partnership’s efforts.

To find resources from APA's SolarOPs partners, visit

SolarOPs Resources

Planning for Solar Energy

PAS Report 575

This comprehensive and authoritative report from APA's Planning Advisory Service provides planners with a basic rationale for planning for solar energy use, summarizes the fundamental characteristics of the U.S. solar market as they relate to local solar energy use, and explains how planners can take advantage of five strategic points of intervention to promote solar energy use.

Solar Powering Sunnyside

Solar Powering Sunnyside is a new participatory planning exercise that uses game play to help community members understand solar development options from a land-use planning perspective.

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Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Resource Collection

Through this portal you can search hundreds of examples of solar-supportive plans, development regulations, and other planning-related implementation tools.


Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy: Updated PAS Essential Info Packet

This compendium of background articles, plan excerpts, and sample ordinances shows how communities are promoting solar energy use through local plans and development regulations.

Explore the Packet

Planning for Solar Energy

Briefing Papers

This series of six briefing papers covers a range of specific topics related to planning for solar energy use. Each paper tackles a different aspect of the issue with a special emphasis on how local plans and implementation tools can reduce barriers to local solar energy use.

Planning for Solar Energy (PAS QuickNotes)

This handout presents an overview of five strategic points of intervention for promoting solar energy use.

Get the Free QN


Using Solar Energy to Enhance Community Resilience

Through its participation in the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, APA presented a free webinar on February 26, 2015, exploring how communities can use solar development to enhance resilience.

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Promoting Solar Energy Use Through Local Planning

In late 2013, APA coordinated a SolarOPs webinar series focusing on three topics central to local planning efforts: acknowledging the importance of the solar resource from a local policy perspective, incorporating solar-supportive policies into local plans, and adopting solar-friendly development regulations.

More About This Series

Podcast: Planning for Solar Energy

Solar FAQ

APA has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on planning and zoning for solar energy.

Read the Solar FAQ