The Southwest Solar Transformation Initiative (SSTI) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge, funded to help “streamline and standardize permitting, zoning, metering and connection processes – and improve finance options for residential and commercial rooftop solar systems.” SSTI seeks to make solar energy more accessible to local governments and area residents and businesses by bringing together a diverse group of key stakeholders to pursue approaches for accelerating local and regional solar adoption for common benefit – both economic and environmental. SSTI is an opt-in model that provides participating communities with a market-leading package of technical assistance services designed to make solar energy more available to under-served areas and promote both energy and economic security in the Southwest - a region that has great potential for benefitting from our solar resource.
In the first phase of the initiative, SEI and Optony will focus on offering centralized technical support and connecting with various stakeholders in order to formulate programs that will drive municipal, residential and commercial participation in the solar market. SEI project team members will direct a university student research team at UNLV to research current solar power standards and relevant best practices. SEI will also help to engage local councils of governments and their participating municipal members across the Southwest in this process, in order to collect information and commitments needed to construct and test out new solar-friendly codes and standards and related support programs.
SSTI implementation partners will deploy an integrated effort designed to:
- Identify major solar market transformation hurdles
- Evaluate solar power potential within participating municipalities
- Leverage Department of Energy materials, partners and best practices
- Provide green economy workforce training and industry connections
- Prepare for expanding those more successful approaches in a subsequent phase
SSTI Launch Video: