Following the success of a solar bulk purchasing program pioneered by residents of Portland, Oregon and spreading to communities across the country, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a roadmap for state and local leaders who wish to launch their own campaigns.
Solarize Portland started out as a grassroots effort to overcome the financial and logistical barriers to installing solar PV on residential properties. The neighborhood collective purchasing program quickly caught on across the city, and succeeded in driving down solar market costs by 30%-35% compared to costs before the program kicked off. The campaign has led to the addition of more than 1.7 MW of distributed PV, and in the process, has also established a firm solar installation economy, according to NREL.
The handbook describes how Solarize Portland implemented its program, explains how other neighborhoods across the country are building off their efforts, and provides the steps needed to have a successful campaign in six months or less, says NREL.
Communities across the country have started their own Solarize campaigns, in Washington State, Massachusetts, Vermont, and San Diego, California; and there are also multi-city campaigns from One Block Off the Grid and GroupEnergy.