USCA Solar Deployment Guidebook
A Resource for State and Local Governments
To assist states and localities in accelerating solar adoption, The U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) partnered with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to elevate crucial strategies and tools for state and local governments to reduce the non-hardware costs of solar development. This Guidebook was written for state and local governments to identify gaps and opportunities for innovation in local solar market design; provide sample local policy and program frameworks, applications, and language; include local solar policy decision making considerations and planning scenarios; and point states and localities to additional state, federal, and private resources.
States and localities can work together to design and implement policies, plans, and practices that enable solar energy to continue to become more affordable. While the hardware costs of solar projects have experienced a steady decline over the past several years, there remains significant opportunity to reduce “soft” costs. Such costs often include those associated with permitting, financing, customer acquisition, installer profit, and other non-hardware costs and may represent as much as 64% of the cost of a project.
This Guidebook builds upon ongoing efforts under the U.S. Climate Alliance Solar Soft Costs Initiative to equip state and local agencies with tools, strategies, and models on proven soft cost reduction methods in the following areas: permitting and inspection; zoning and siting; municipal procurement; and property taxes.