Solar Energy Annotated Bibliography

APA has compiled this list of resources on aspects of solar energy implementation.

Background on Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy

American Planning Association, Planning Advisory Service. 2011. "Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy." PAS Essential Info Packet 30. Available at
• Compendium offers extensive collection of sample ordinances on solar access, solar siting, and solar energy systems large and small, along with background articles and examples of how communities are adding solar provisions to their comprehensive plans

Berkooz, Corry. 2008. "Let the Sun Shine In." Planning, June. Available at
• Article provides overview of planning and zoning for solar energy across the country; provides a number of key resources for incorporating solar energy systems in the planning process

Coughlin, J., and A. Kandt. 2011. Solar Schools Assessment and Implementation Project: Financing Options for Solar Installations on K–12 Schools. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Report offers best practices for financing and installing photovoltaic systems on school building in order to help school districts save money, reduce carbon emissions, support job creation, and educate about clean energy options; examines the two primary types of ownership models used to obtain solar installations: the direct-ownership option and the third-party finance model

Kettles, Colleen McCann. 2008. A Comprehensive Review of Solar Access Law in the United States. Cocoa, Florida: Solar America Board for Codes and Standards. Available at
• Report provides detailed analysis of solar access laws across the U.S., including model state statute language based on best practices

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Solar America Communities. 2011. Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments. Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Comprehensive guide to implementing solar power at the local level discusses the benefits of solar energy systems, gives simple implementation tips and options, lists a number of examples, and includes additional references and resources

Solar in the Comprehensive Plan

Bradenton (Florida), City of. 2009. Comprehensive Plan 2010–2030. Bradenton Coastal Management Conservation Element. Objective 7.4, Solar Energy. Available at
• Plan includes objectives and policies addressing the city's commitment to requiring solar ready building when feasible; includes a policy requiring new construction using city funds are required to incorporate passive solar design features

King (Washington), County of. 2010. 2008 King County Comprehensive Plan with 2010 Update. Chapter Four – Environment. Chapter Eight - Services, Facilities and Utilities. Part A. Energy. Available at
• Plan addresses a number of topics to promotes its use including: the siting of roads, lots, landscaping and buildings for improved solar orientation, the use of passive solar design and active solar technologies and the protection of solar access

West Central (Wisconsin), Region of. 2010. West Central Wisconsin Comprehensive Plan 2010-2030. XII. Energy And Sustainability. Available at
• Plan suggests solar energy as a solution for high energy demands in the summer with placement discussed in brownfields and industrial areas

Community Solar and Group Purchasing Programs

Coughlin, Jason, et al. 2010. A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-Profit Development. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Guidebook outlines the steps to developing a community solar project; includes a "Getting Started" section that provides a number of practical tools and tips for planning projects

Irvine, Linda, Alex Sawyer, and Jennifer Grove. 2011. The Solarize Guidebook: A Community Guide to Collective Purchasing of Residential PV Systems. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Guidebook lists the steps for launching a collective purchasing campaign for residential PV; includes lessons, considerations, and step-by-step plans for project organizers gathered from the successful program of Solarize Portland

San José (California), City of. & Bay Area Climate Collaborative. n.d. "San José SunShares :Go Solar with Group Buying Power." Available at
• Basic guide that provides the overall goal, basic steps and various resources for a residential solar group-buy model; provides steps on how to receive and evaluate competitive proposals from solar contractors, reduce upfront costs and resources for developing financing options

Grid Connection and Net Metering

Doris, E., S. Busche, and S. Hockett. 2009. Net Metering Policy Development and Distributed Solar Generation in Minnesota: Overview of Trends in Nationwide Policy Development and Implications of Increasing the Eligible System Size Cap. Technical Report. Available at
• Report compares Minnesota's solar policies to national best practices; includes a qualitative assessment of the impacts of raising the state's system size cap within the current policy based on the policies of other states

Lichtner, Sarah, Ross Brindle, and Lindsay Pack. 2010. Electric Power Industry Needs for Grid-Scale Storage Applications. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Report explains the policy and technological barriers that must be overcome to implement grid-integrated storage including: opportunities and priority applications for grid-scale storage, challenges to widespread commercial deployment of storage technologies and activities and initiatives for widespread storage adoption

Interstate Renewable Energy Council. 2011. "Connecting to the Grid." Available at
• Portal provides links of articles and reports about interconnection and net metering in the United States

Network for New Energy Choices. 2011. Freeing the Grid: Best Practices in State Net Metering Policies and Interconnection Procedures. Available at
• Report grades each state on their net-metering and interconnection policies; provides metrics for determining success of those policies and case-studies of some of the best and worst practices

U.S. Department of Energy. 2003. Get Your Power from the Sun: A Consumer's Guide. Available at
• Basic guide offers information about different technologies and methods of connecting a PV system to the electrical grid; includes a section on calculating electricity bill savings for a net-metered PV system

U.S. Department of Energy. 2011. "Energy Savers: Energy and Metering Arrangements for Grid-Connected Systems." Available at
• Article provides an overview of the two most common grid-connection arrangements for consumers

U.S. Department of Energy. 2011. "Green Power Networks: Net Metering." Available at
• Article provides a basic overview of how net metering works, with links to some relevant literature for more in-depth reading

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Solar America Communities. 2011. Solar Photovoltaic Economic Development: Building and Growing a Local PV Industry. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Introductory guide for local governments to evaluate solar energy opportunities and set informed recruitment targets for renewable energy

Local Solar Building Permit Guides

Brooks, Bill. 2011. Expedited Permit Process for PV Systems: A Standardized Process for the Review of Small-Scale PV Systems. Cocoa, Florida: Solar America Board for Codes and Standards. Available at
• Report recommends a model expedited permitting process for small, residential solar energy systems; includes a link to interactive PDF format so that necessary diagrams can be filled out electronically and submitted either in printed form or via email to the local jurisdiction

Boston (Massachusetts) City of. 2010. Solar Boston Permitting Guide: A Resource for Building Owners and Solar Installers. Available at
• Guidebook describes new, streamlined permitting rules for solar photovoltaic systems focusing on residential photovoltaic installations on one-to-four family buildings; includes application process for the building permit, an electrical permit, and NSTAR interconnection

Cape Coral (Florida), City of. 2009. Photovoltaic Solar Permit Guidelines. Available at
• Guidelines and checklist for expedited permit process for small-scale PV systems; intended to help identify when PV system installations need only a basic review, and when an installation is more complex

Clark (Nevada), County of. 2010. Solar Photovoltaic Systems Building Permit Guide. Available at
• Guidebook outlines the minimum requirements to obtain permits for all solar PV systems that produce electricity of any voltage to buildings, occupiable or not; requirements also apply to structures including light poles and parking covers, and to any type of equipment including pumps, fences, cellular communications equipment and the charging of batteries and large-scale PV "farms"

Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), City of. 2010. Guidebook for Solar Photovoltaic Projects in Philadelphia. Available at
• Reference guidebook for potential project developers and contractors pursuing solar photovoltaic projects in Philadelphia; covers system design considerations, solar installation process codes and regulations, benefits and incentives, permit requirements; includes FAQ section that answers specific questions about solar projects

Portland (Oregon), City of. 2010. Solar Water Heating and Photovoltaic Electric Generators Installed on One or Two Family Dwellings. Available at
• Guidebook outlines the application and review procedures for obtaining the necessary permit to install a solar energy system for a new or existing residential building

Sacramento (California), City of. 2011. City of Sacramento Guide to Solar Energy Permits. PDF available at
• Packet encourages the installation of solar energy systems and explains the streamlined review process for small-scale solar; provides "Steps to Getting a Solar Permit," submission checklists for residential photovoltaic installations and solar water heating systems, and sample PV-array layout and mounting and wiring plans

Historic Preservation

Grimmer, A.E., et al. 2011. The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation & Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Technical Preservation Services. Available at
• Report provides guidelines for incorporating alternative energy sources for properties in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; lists recommended and not recommended ways to incorporate solar panels and devices on historic buildings

Kandt, A., et al. 2011. Implementing Solar PV Projects on Historic Buildings and in Historic Districts. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available at
• Report details best practices and solutions developed during the workshop "Implementing Solar Projects on Historic Buildings and in Historic Districts" held in Denver, Colorado, June 2010

National Trust for Historic Preservation. 2011. "Design Guidelines for Solar Installations." Available at
• Article lists considerations that should be explored when developing preservation ordinances in regards to solar installations for historic buildings, structures, and sites

Nantucket, (Massachusetts), Town of. 2009. Sustainable Preservation: An Addendum to Building with Nantucket in Mind. Available at
• Report offers guidelines for both photovoltaic panels and building-integrated photovoltaics

Phoenix (Arizona), City of. 2011. Energize Phoenix Historic Preservation Design Guidelines: Residential. Available at
• Report provides guidelines for projects included in the Energize Phoenix program intended to maintain Phoenix's historic districts

Model Solar Ordinances

Cumberland County (Pennsylvania) Planning Department. 2011. "Solar Energy Systems Model Ordinance." Available at
• Model ordinance created from consulting with a number of local and state ordinances; provides an outline so each municipality can adopt the most appropriate parts based on their local situation

Governor's Solar Working Group (Pennsylvania). 2009. Solar Energy Systems: A Guide for Pennsylvania Municipal Officials. Available at
• Primer for local government officials, code officials, engineers and solicitors on Solar Energy Systems; includes a Model Solar Ordinance for Pennsylvania Municipalities to provide framework for addressing solar energy systems

Oregon Office of Energy. 2003. Planning for Locally-Regulated Energy Facilities. Available at .
• Manual on planning for local energy facilities; focuses on cogeneration facilities, renewable energy facilities, transmission lines and pipelines

Sugarman, D. 2011. Model Small-Scale Solar Siting Ordinance. Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law. Available at
• Model ordinance offers a framework that can enable municipalities to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of solar energy resources; includes provisions regarding permits, appeals, safety, and zoning for future solar access

Solar Access and Siting Ordinances

Burlington (Washington), City of.2011. Burlington Municipal Code. Title 17, Zoning. Chapter 17.48, Performance Standards. Section 17.48.110, Solar Access. Available at
• Ordinance requires that site plans show the shading impacts of new multifamily, commercial, or industrial structures on existing dwellings or vacant residential lots

Fort Collins (Colorado), City of. 2011. Fort Collins Land Use Code. Article 3, Division 3.2, Site Planning and Design Standards. Section 3.2.3, Solar Access, Orientation, Shading. Available at
• Ordinance states that the "the right to solar access is protected;" provides alternative compliance procedures and review criteria

Longmont (Colorado), City of. 2011. Code of Ordinances. Title 15, Land Development Code. Chapter 15.03, Zoning Districts. Section 15.03.060(E)(4)(b). Planned Unit Development Districts – Density or FAR Bonuses. Also see Chapter 15.04, Use Regulations. Section 15.04.020(B)(28)(e)(i). Specific Use Standards – Special Development Standards for Development in the RLE and RMD Zoning Districts – Site Development. Available at
• Ordinance provides 1% density/FAR bonus for proper solar orientation; site development standards for certain district require accommodation for solar orientation

Menlo Park (California), City of. 2010. Zoning Ordinance. Section 16.04.625, Solar Access. Available at
• Ordinance states that the building department requires a survey to define the solar envelope prior to permitting

Parowan (Utah), City of. 2011. Municipal Code. Title 24, Zoning. Chapter 15, Solar Access Incentives and Protection. Available at
• Ordinance provides that for existing solar energy system already in place, no building permits will be issued for a building that will infringe on neighboring solar access; if solar access has been infringed on post-construction, it is the owner/developer who is responsible for corrective measures

Solar-Ready Homes

Boulder (Colorado), City of. 2009. "Green Building and Green Points Guideline Booklet." Available at
• Booklet contains a list of mandatory green building requirements; additional points can be earned by including Pre-Wiring for Future Solar Electric, Photovoltaic (PV) System Retrofit

Lunning Wende Associates, Inc. 2010."Solar Ready Building Design Guidelines." The Minneapolis Saint Paul Solar Cities Program. Available at
• Guidebook tailored to the Midwest/Minnesota Twin Cities region to help architects, engineers, contractors, and their clients understand and plan for future solar technology options, including solar water heating and solar electric

Colorado, State of. 2010. Colorado Revised Statutes. 38-35.7-106, 2009.Colo. Legis. Serv. _____ (H.B. 09-1149). Solar Prewire Option - Solar Consultation. Available at
• State law requires homebuilders to offer prospective homeowners the option of having their home pre-wired for solar and provide a list of local solar installers who can assess the home's solar energy potential

Hawaii, State of. 2010. Hawaii Revised Statutes. Act 204 §196-6.5, Solar Water Heater System Required for New Single-Family Residential Construction. Available at
• State statute stipulates all new single-family dwellings built in the State of Hawaii must have a solar water heater; exemptions are processed by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Tucson (Arizona), City of. 2008. Ordinance No. 10549: Relating to Buildings and Construction: Requiring New Single Family and Duplex Residential Dwelling Units to Provide for Future Installation of Solar Energy Devices. Available at
• Ordinance requires all new single-family homes and duplexes to be "solar-ready;" new homes must either have a complete solar water heating system installed or comply with one of two solar stub-out options

Regulating Small-Scale Solar Energy Systems

Addison (Texas), Town of. 2010. Code of Ordinances. Chapter 18, Buildings and Building Regulations. Article XIII. Solar Energy Systems. Available at
• Ordinance stresses control of solar panels for aesthetic reasons; includes screening requirements for ground-mounted systems

Denver (Colorado), City of. 2010. Zoning Code. Article 3, Division 3.3, Section Detached Accessory Building Form Standards – Accessory Structures Specifically Allowed – Ground- or Roof-Mounted Solar Energy Collection Devices. Available at
• Ordinance allows solar photovoltaic panels as permitted accessory structures; flush-mounted solar panels are permitted to encroach any distance into setback space and are exempt from height limits in all districts

Henderson (Nevada), City of. 2011. Development Code. Chapter 19.5, Use Regulations. Section 19.5.7, Accessory Uses and Structures. Subsection 19.5.7.D.10. Solar Collection System. Available at
• Ordinance permits solar collection systems as accessory uses in all zoning districts subject to the specific standards; includes placement standards for both roof-mounted and freestanding systems and appearance standards for roof-mounted systems

Morehead City (North Carolina), Town of. 2010. Unified Development Ordinance. Article 14, Exceptions, Modifications, and Special Requirements for Certain Uses. Section 14-42. Solar Panels. Available at .
• Ordinance requires solar panels to be sized and located not to project over the roof peak; sets projection limit of 5' over flat roofs

Pierce (Wisconsin), County of. 2010. County Code. Chapter 240, Zoning. Article IV, Particular Use Requirements. Section 240-41(D)(3). Miscellaneous Uses – Energy Systems – Solar. Available at .
• Ordinance provides definitions and standards for small and large solar energy systems; small systems are permitted accessory use in all districts, large systems are conditional use in all districts

Rochester (New York), City of. 2011. City Code. Article XX, Requirements Applying to All Districts. Section 120-163, Accessory uses and structures. Article XXIII, Exceptions. Section 120-196, Height. Article XXVI, Definitions. Section 120-28, Definitions. Available at
• Ordinance provides for accessory solar energy systems as permitted uses in all districts; freestanding systems cannot be located in the front yard and rooftop systems can exceed district height limits by one-half story

Washington (Maryland), County of. 2009. An Ordinance to Amend Certain Provisions to the Zoning Ordinance for Washington County, Maryland and to Reenact Said Ordinance with Changes Relating to its Text (RZ-09-004). Available at
• Ordinance includes setbacks, height and size restrictions on freestanding systems

Washington (Pennsylvania), Township of. 2009. An Ordinance Amending Chapter 131 of the Washington Township Code of Ordinances, Zoning Ordinance, by: Adopting Article XXIV et.seq. which shall Provide for Alternative Energy Systems within the Township. Available at
• Ordinance permits solar energy systems in all zoning districts subject to regulations; see Section 131-133, second set of conditions, for solar system standards

Regulating Large-Scale Solar Energy Systems

Boulder City (Nevada), City of. 2011. City Code. Title 11, Zoning and Subdivisions. Chapter 19, Energy Resource District. Available at
• Ordinance defines permitted uses include private or public solar generation, transmission, and distribution facilities; no development standards given

Kern (California), County of. Zoning Ordinance. Chapter 19.12 - Exclusive Agriculture (A) District. 19.12.020 - Permitted uses. E. Resource Extraction and Energy Development Uses; 19.12.030 - Uses permitted with a conditional use permit. G. Resource Extraction and Energy Development Uses; Chapter 19.14 - Limited Agriculture (A-1) District. 19.14.020 - Permitted uses. E. Resource Extraction and Energy Development Uses. Available at
• Ordinance permits certain solar energy electrical generator uses by right in many districts; see also "Solar Zoning Ordinance Summary – Examples of Zoning Ordinance Standards for Solar Electric Generating Facilities" at,%202010/202934788/TMPKeyboard203054870.pdf for a summary of Kern County's requirements

San Luis Obispo (California), County of. 2011. Municipal Code. Title 22, Land Use. Article 4, Standards for Specific Land Uses. Chapter 22.32. Electric Generating Plants. Available at
• Ordinance sets out permit and application requirements; required permit is based on size of grading or vegetation removal required; PV generating facility applications also require information on tracking system design and public access/safety issues; distribution lines must be undergrounded

Santa Clara (California), County of. 2010. Ordinance No. NS–1200.331: An Ordinance Of The Board Of Supervisors Of The County Of Santa Clara Amending Appendix I Of The County Of Santa Clara Ordinance Code Related To Commercial Solar Energy Conversion Systems. Available at,%20Office%20of%20%28DEP%29/attachments/Solar%20Power/commercial%20solar%20ordinance%20redlined.pdf.
• Ordinance provides for minor (under 8 acres) and major commercial solar energy conversion facilities; restricted to marginal agricultural lands

Solar Energy Online Resources

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
• Comprehensive and easily searchable database of federal, state, and local policies and programs promoting renewable energy use and energy-efficient practices

Interstate Renewable Energy Coalition.
• Model policies and reports for bringing renewable energy to a community; includes links about policies, compensation, and technical information for connecting renewable energy to the grid

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "The Open PV Project."
• Interactive database providing real-time statistics on the status of solar energy in the U.S.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "Solar Research."
• NREL specializes in research and development related to alternative energy and energy efficiency; this page provides Information on NREL programs focusing on photovoltaics and solar heating systems

Solar America Board for Codes and Standards.
• Website provides technical information on best-practice code requirements for solar energy systems

Solar Electric Power Association.
• SEPA is a group of utilities, solar companies and other solar stakeholders; this site contains foundation information on solar energy, as well as a list of utility solar programs across the U.S.

U.S. Department of Energy. "SunShot Initiative."
• DOE's SunShot Initiative focuses on making large-scale solar energy systems cost-competitive without subsidies by the end of the decade

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Solar."
• Clearinghouse page for all DOE solar resources and programs

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Solar America Communities."
• Descriptions and links to case studies of DOE's 25 designated Solar America Cities which have been tasked with accelerating the adoption of solar energy technologies

Solar Mapping Examples

BenDor, Todd, and Lyle Leitelt. 2010. "Developing a Solar Energy Potential Map." PAS Memo, November/December 2010. Available at
• Article describes the process of creating a solar energy potential map through a case study for the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; maps typically are used to determine suitable areas for solar panels, energy savings potential, installation costs, long-term monetary savings, and potential carbon emissions savings

Berkeley (California) City of. n.d. Berkeley Solar Map. Available at
• Interactive map allows individuals to see their solar potential of their homes and businesses but also lets them identify all of the city's solar installations

Boston (Massachusetts) City of. n.d. Solar Boston. Available at
• Interactive map displays active renewable energy installations, including solar within the city, and calculates the solar potential of building rooftops

Los Angeles (California) County of. n.d. Los Angele County Solar Map. Available at
• Interactive map created for residents to estimate their solar potential; includes detailed 3D model for each of the county's 1,100 municipal buildings which were mapped to demonstrate solar potential

Milwaukee (Wisconsin) City of. n.d. Milwaukee Shines. Available at
• Map displays featured homes and businesses with solar energy installations

New York (New York) City of. n.d. New York City Solar Map. Available at
• Interactive map allows users to estimate the solar energy potential for every building in New York City's five boroughs by inputting an address; displays real-time solar energy production citywide

Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. n.d. Oregon Clean Energy Map. Available at
• Interactive map provides detail about existing photovoltaic and solar hot water installations

Salt Lake City (Utah), City of. n.d. Salt Lake City Solar Map. Available at
• Interactive map that displays current solar installations including with information on system size/type, also calculates solar potential, hours of sunlight and intensity of sunlight by address or neighborhood

San Francisco (California) City of. n.d. San Francisco Solar Map. Available at
• Interactive map displays solar activity around the city, providing information and links to environmental benefits as well as the costs and cost reductions involved with installing solar panels