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In-Depth Solar Technical Assistance

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In fiscal year 2015, NREL is offering 1-2 rounds of in-depth technical assistance to cities and states targeting policy and programmatic improvements that will open and develop markets for distributed generation (DG), specifically solar rooftop photovoltaics (PV). This assistance is not a financial award. Rather, successful applicants are partnered with NREL expert staff to determine the most effective use of assistance in forwarding market opening policies and programs.


The application period for Round 1 is open from October 1–29, 2014. Round 2 is uncertain at this point and will be determined based on requests received in Round 1 and pending funding availability. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply in Round 1.

  • Applications for Round 1–2015 will be available online after the start of fiscal year 2015 in October 2014.

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Types of Assistance Available

The types of assistance available through the Solar Technical Assistance Team's (STAT) in-depth program include:

  • Review and comparison of current policies to best practices with suggestions for policy changes to better serve the solar distributed generation market
  • Unbiased analysis of economic and market impacts of changes to policies
  • Review and comparison of current regulations to best practices with suggestions for policy changes to better serve the solar DG market
  • Unbiased analysis of economic and market impacts of changes to regulations.

NREL anticipates providing multi-faceted, in-depth assistance over a 8–9 month timeframe depending on the needs of the applicant.

Selection Criteria

To meet the basic eligibility criteria, applicants must qualify as:

  • State elected official or staff
  • State agency staff
  • Local elected official or staff
  • Local agency staff
  • Regional planning organizations
  • Public School Districts
  • Publicly funded universities/colleges

In addition, applicants must perform work that is directly related to PV markets/costs.Non-profit organizations and private sector entities are not eligible.

Applications will be evaluated based on potential market impact, likelihood of action by the jurisdiction and alignment with DOE SunShot goals.

Successful applicants will:

  • Provide staff time to assist in the development and actively participate in the technical assistance delivery

  • Identify specific areas of necessary assistance

  • Articulate existing solar market barriers

  • Articulate specifically how the requested assistance would remove or reduce the barrier (e.g. streamlined interconnection process would reduce developer wait times by x days)

  • Articulate how NREL assistance would help facilitate movement toward a robust solar market

  • Provide illustrated institutional interest in developing a distributed solar PV market

  • Be well positioned (e.g. with an open docket proceeding or active legislative session) on these topics to implement changes that will open PV markets. Better positioning may be achieved through multiple entities coordinating within a jurisdiction and this will be recognized in the review.

The Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative that is implemented in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). If you have any questions, please email them to