We want you to know what we know! Take a look at some of these free resources aimed at helping communities organize local clean energy projects.

Webinar: Funding for Tribal Energy Projects

Presented on June 21, 2022, this webinar offered over ten different state and federal funding opportunities for Tribal Energy Projects. The following institutions and organizations shared information about their funding and/or technical assistance programs:

DOE Office of Indian Energy
Bureau of Indian Affairs
NREL Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project
WA Department of Commerce
WSU Energy Program
Energy Trust of Oregon
Oregon Department of Energy

Webinar: Intro to Agrivoltaics. Solar energy production paired with farming and land restoration as a dual-use.

Presented on March 31st, 2021, this webinar discusses the challenges and opportunities of agrivoltaics. Speakers share their experiences applying agrivoltaic practices in Oregon and Washington and how these states could expand dual-use in rural communities. For the presentation slides, click here.

Affordable Clean Energy for All: A Guide to Installing Solar Photovoltaics on Multifamily Affordable Housing in Washington

Published in March 2016, this guidebook is intended as a tool for Washington State affordable housing providers and their partners to use in exploring solar feasibility, identifying potential sources of funding, and deploying solar projects that meet the needs of the affordable housing sector and low-income residents. Free Download Available Here

The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems   
COVER - THE SOLARIZE GUIDEBOOKOur publication, The Solarize Guidebook captures the essence of the first neighborhood campaigns in Portland and reviews numerous variations that have emulated the Solarize model, from Pendleton to Salem to San Jose. The guide outlines the steps for launching a successful campaign, leveraging local grassroots groups and institutional technical support to produce market transforming results. The Solarize Guidebook was prepared for and funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Free Download Available Here

A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private and Non-profit Project Development COVER - A GUIDE TO COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR
This guide is designed as a resource for those who want to develop community solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community solar projects, this guide will help communities to plan and implement successful local energy projects. A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private and Non-profit Project Development was developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory by Northwest SEED, Keyes and Fox, and Stoel Rives. Free Download Available Here

Wind Permit Toolkit

This toolkit includes information on how jurisdictions can standardize their zoning regulations and permitting processes to ensure safe and cost-effective wind energy development that is appropriate for their community. View the Wind Permit Toolkit here.

Financing Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects: Lessons from Project Developers in the Northwest ProjectDeveloperLessons_Cover
Cake Ventures commissioned a study to investigate the challenges developers face in getting clean energy projects financed. Based on in-depth interviews with project developers and financing experts in the Northwest, this report provides a better understanding of the unique structures, costs and processes for financing community-scale projects, identifies key challenges and weaknesses in financing, and highlights how developers have creatively financed community-scale projects. Free Download Available Here

NW Cmty Solar Guide1Northwest Community Solar Guide
Developed in partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Northwest Community Solar Guide offers an in-depth look into the various forms of community solar projects. It explores the Community Solar movement and concepts; the financial and political restraints and opportunities; and a practical look at organizing and establishing a business model.
Free Download Available Here

ENERGY PLANNING: A Guide for Northwest Indian Tribestribal_GB_Cover
This guidebook, created by our team with funding from the Bullitt Foundation, is a new tool to help Native American Tribes develop a plan to achieve energy independence. The guide contains information and resources to help select and implement projects to conserve energy, generate clean, renewable energy, construct efficient and environmentally friendly buildings and other energy related community or business projects — all tailored to the geography of the Northwest and the people of its Tribes. Free Download Available Here

biomass_guide_coverThe Next Step for Biomass Energy Development in Clallam County 

This guidebook was published with support from the Institute for Washington’s Future, and the Northwest Cooperative Development Center, with funding from the Washington State Department of Ecology, is a new tool to help communities on the Olympic Peninsula assess the potential for local biomass energy development. The guide contains information and resources to help select and implement projects, and discusses the complexities involved in making a biomass project work. Free Download Available Here

COMMUNITY WIND: An Oregon GuidebookORGuidebook_thumb
This guidebook, created by our organization for the Energy Trust of Oregon, provides background information on community wind development and lays out the components of a project, including assessing a wind resource, siting, permitting, ownership models, interconnection, financing, and sources of financial assistance.  Full Download Available Here

siting_thumbPermitting Small Wind Turbines: A Handbook

We worked with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to produce and release a comprehensive guide for small wind turbine owners and local officials seeking to understand and improve permitting regulations affecting small wind energy systems.

atlas_thumbRenewable Energy Atlas of the West

The Atlas was one of our initial projects.  The 80-page, full-color guide presented renewable energy resources in the West, including high-resolution wind maps of the Pacific Northwest. The Atlas profiled wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power. The Atlas was a collaborative publication sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, Green Info Network and Integral GIS. 

Northwest Solar Communities

Spark Northwest, the WA Department of Commerce State Energy Office, and other partners have helped increase access to solar across the Pacific Northwest. Over the 2.5 year program, we quintupled the amount of solar in Washington State! Funded by the US DOE SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge, Northwest Solar Communities streamlined four action areas: Permitting, Interconnection, Financing, and Planning. Work groups developed permitting templates that can be easily adopted by communities to make solar easier and more cost effective for those they serve.

Working With You

Attend an Event

Spark Northwest provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.

Have an Idea?

Got a project idea ready? We may be able to assist with your community project. Click below to see what services we offer!

Find More Resources

Spark Northwest provides publications, guidebooks and web tools that help communities pursue clean energy projects.