Solsmart: A Regional Approach to Solar Energy Adoption Webinar + Report

On March 30, 2022, the NADO Research Foundationthe National Association of Regional Councils, and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council hosted a discussion with three Regional Development Organizations that have been involved in SolSmart’s Regional Organization Pathway Program. Staff at these organizations, Apalachee Regional Planning Council (FL)North Central Texas Council of Governments, and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OH), discussed the value of solar to their regions, their interest in the SolSmart program, and how they hope adoption of solar in their regions will change after designation. Theresa Perry at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council provided a short overview of the SolSmart program and its benefits and led a roundtable discussion with the panelists.

To support SolSmart efforts around the Regional Organization Pathway and to bring this important information to the over 500 national members of both organizations, the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation and NARC spoke with staff at designated organizations in the fall of 2021 to learn more about their involvement in the program and gather recommendations for other regional organizations considering pursuing designation.

The resulting publication, SolSmart: A Regional Approach to Solar Energy Adoption, includes insights into why organizations chose to participate in the program, tips on how to successfully prepare and conduct outreach, and how it can benefit communities. The document includes specific examples and links to SolSmart resources. Click here to download the report (PDF).

Please contact Senior Program Manager Ciara Ristig at [email protected] with any questions about SolSmart and how the NADO Research Foundation is supporting this nationwide effort.

Solar Power in Your Community Guidebook

The Solar Power in Your Community guidebook serves as a resource to assist government officials and stakeholders in increasing deployment and local access to solar photovoltaics.

Through diverse case studies, information about new technologies, and more, you will gain invaluable insight and strategies for improving the equity of solar deployment at the local level. The guidebook is produced by The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and The National Renewable Energy Lab.

Access the guidebook to learn more.


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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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