Powering Strong Communities
Distributed Energy Resources

National Community Solar Partnership

The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) is an initiative led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. In 2020-2021, the American Public Power Association partnered with the NCSP on the Municipal Utility Collaborative to identify and address common barriers to community-based solar for public power. 


Municipal Utility Community Solar Workbook: A summary of the findings and resources shared during the Municipal Utility Collaborative, this interactive guidebook can assist public power utilities as they plan and implement community solar projects.

You can also access summaries of each chapter: 

  1. Chapter 1: Defining Community Solar Project Goals and Objectives for Your Utility
  2. Chapter 2: Gauging Market Potential and Customer Appetite
  3. Chapter 3: Community Solar Project Siting
  4. Chapter 4: Investigating Program Designs and Subscription Models
  5. Chapter 5: Exploring Project Economics and Financials
  6. Chapter 6: Developing Requests for Proposals and Project Timelines
  7. Chapter 7: Marketing, Customer Acquisition, and Program Implementation (forthcoming)

Understanding Community Solar fact sheet (1-page PDF) 

The Community Solar Guidebook (2020): Developed with funding from a Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED) grant to WPPI Energy, this is a roadmap for public power utilities to navigate community solar program design, particularly in low-to-moderate income and rural areas. Order a hard copy or a digital version of this publication on our store, or hear from the team who developed the guidebook on the archived webinar, Increasing Access to Community Solar Programs.

Community Solar Interest Group: Email [email protected] to be added to our Community Solar Interest Group, an email list serving 120+ utility staff.

Related Items

Sign up for other NCSP news by emailing [email protected].

Technical Assistance

Get help from experts on envisioning, designing, or implementing a community solar project. The National Community Solar Partnership accepts applications for its free technical assistance program on a rolling basis. Technical assistance is provided by the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as participants seek to create and demonstrate practical, effective, and scalable community solar models. Since 2019, the NCSP Technical Assistance program has provided support to 50 NCSP partners across 24 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

NCSP partners are welcome to request technical assistance in any of the following subject areas:

  • Policy, legislation, and regulation research
  • Project financing analysis
  • Outreach and engagement strategies
  • Program design
  • Technical issues

TA support will be allocated based on the scope of your project’s need and may include resources such as:

  • Consultation on program processes and policies and technical review of proposed plans and models
  • Technical and financial analysis and modeling of potential program costs, benefits, and impacts
  • Custom research such as market studies or third-party white papers
  • Custom publications such as toolkits, tip sheets, or case studies

Register to become a NCSP partner to qualify to apply. Registration is free and open to any organization based in the U.S. Partners may not receive technical assistance for work that is supported by other Department of Energy funding. The requestor must be a U.S. citizen or a representative of an organization that is legally formed in the U.S. and with a primary place of business in the U.S.