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The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) provides state and local decision-makers with timely and actionable resources, peer networks, and technical assistance to lower local market barriers and establish best practices in order to expand solar power access throughout American communities. In the context of the Clean Power Plan, these networking and technical assistance programs aid local governments in identifying and implementing strategies to meet their clean energy and climate change goals.
Programs in this area include:
- Rooftop Solar Challenge - Round 1 and Round 2: Eight regional teams demonstrate projects that reduce costs through improved permitting, financing, and other regulatory areas
- Solar Outreach Partnership: Nationwide technical assistance to local governments
- National Lab Analysis and Assistance: Strategy and in-depth reports
- Solar Market Pathways: Community solar, finance, and deployment model innovations
- Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities: Designation for leading communities
- SunShot Prize: Competition to reduce permit-to-plug-in times to seven days
- State Energy Strategies: Maximizing the benefits of solar electricity at the state level through technical assistance
A favorable policy and regulatory environment is a critical precursor to the development of vibrant solar markets, even in the presence of dramatically reduced technology costs. At the federal, state, and local levels, a complex set of interdependent programs and policies define the extent to which renewable energy markets are able to develop and thrive. SETO plays a vital role in developing and sharing best practices that make it faster, easier, and more affordable for Americans to access solar power.