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Spark Northwest provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.
Spark Northwest accelerates the shift to clean energy one community at a time. Our programs make affordable, locally-controlled clean energy more accessible for all.
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.
Community Solar Fact Sheets: New!
Published in June of 2018, these fact sheets give project developers and energy customers an overview of the new community solar programs in Washington and Oregon.
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
Updated 2012! The Solarize Guidebook: A community guide to collective purchasing of residential PV systems
Our 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
Updated 2012! A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private and Non-profit Project Development
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
Financing Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects: Lessons from Project Developers in the Northwest
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
Northwest 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 Tribes
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
The 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 Guidebook
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
Permitting 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.
Renewable 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.
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Spark Northwest provides publications, guidebooks and web tools that help communities pursue clean energy projects.