The DOE is putting the “think global, act local” mantra into action by awarding a pair of $5 million grants to local government organizations toward incorporating more solar energy generation in communities across the country.
The two grant recipients, the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) in Washington, D.C., and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives-Local Governments for Sustainability of Boston, will reach out and respond to thousands of local governments with a mix of educational workshops, peer-to-peer sharing opportunities, and national Web-based resources. In addition, the organizations will share best practices for overcoming technical and political barriers to increasing solar energy use at the local level.
The effort will dovetail and leverage the DOE’s existing Solar America Cities program in which 25 cities contributed to the development of Solar Powering Your Community, a best practices guide for communities that is available online as a free download at www.solaramericacities.energy.gov/resources.
According to the DOE, the grants underscore the agency’s commitment to helping local governments accelerate widespread adoption of solar energy, which the DOE speculates will help reduce global climate change, strengthen the nation’s energy independence, and support the transition to a clean energy economy. “Helping communities shift toward solar energy makes sense from an economic and environmental perspective and is in line with our mission of improving local government,” explains Ron Carlee, ICMA director of strategic domestic initiatives.
ICMA’s grant award follows that group’s legacy of local government outreach, including brownfield redevelopment, smart growth planning, and environmental compliance.