U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative launches the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) program to establish a prominent national recognition program to energize local solar marketplaces, and has selected the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) as a multi-year partner.
ICMA is a professional and educational organization for appointed local government managers, administrators, and assistants. Through its cooperative agreement signed with SunShot Initiative, ICMA will support the SPARC program qualifying at least 300 leading communities that seek to achieve designation and engage hundreds more through robust competitions and awards initiatives. By awarding local governments with a "stamp of approval" for their efforts in building stronger solar environments around the country, this program will help encourage the adoption of best practices in solar soft cost areas, such as permitting, inspection, and interconnection. The SPARC program supports the goals of the SunShot Initiative to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to go solar.
"The role of local governments in building stronger and more resilient communities has never been more apparent," said ICMA Executive Director Robert J. O'Neill, Jr. "As one of the nation's largest consumers of electricity, our cities, towns and counties have the opportunity to make an impact on the financial, environmental, and economic health of the country by adopting solar energy technologies."
The SPARC program awards and competitions will celebrate communities and other stakeholders that break new ground, make remarkable progress, and develop new innovations, signaling to the marketplace that participating communities are market ready for solar jobs and economic activity.
Partnering organizations include: the National Civic League, Home Innovations Research Labs, Meister Consultants Group, The Solar Foundation, and Esri.