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Renewable Energy Resources


These resources will help inform your renewable energy activities. Resources include links to organizations, state and federal agencies, tools, guides and tip sheets to support your work.  You’ll also find examples of programs and materials from cities and counties.


10 Questions to Ask Before Installing Solar Power on Agency Facilities

Solar PV systems convert sunlight to electricity and offer opportunities to reduce energy costs, save taxpayer dollars, save energy and increase sustainability. Asking the right questions can help make the project a success.

AB 811: Clean Energy Financing Law

AB 811 authorizes all cities and counties in California to designate areas within which property owners may finance renewable generation and energy efficiency improvements through low-interest loans that are repaid as an item on the property owner’s property tax bill.


California Center for Sustainable Energy

The California Center for Sustainable Energy provides energy efficiency expertise, education and rebate program administration in five critical areas: green building, education, renewables, transportation and climate change.


California Energy Commission Energy Partnership Program

For communities seeking financial help with greening public buildings, the California Energy Commission offers low-interest loans up to $3 million per project for incorporation of energy-saving components in planned buildings or retrofits to existing facilities. Free technical assistance is also available to cities and counties for energy efficiency planning for public facilities.


California Solar Initiative

The California Solar Initiative offers solar incentives to energy users (except new homes) in investor-owned utility territories in California. The CSI Program is administered by the California Public Utilities Commission, and has a goal to install 1,940 MW of new solar by 2017.


California Solar Permitting Guidebook

The guidebook explains state requirements for solar PV, outlines local permitting steps, and recommends several ways that local agencies can improve permitting of solar PV systems.


The Customer’s Guide to Solar Power Purchase Agreements
Rahus Institute, October 2008

Follow the link below to download “The Customer’s Guide to Solar Power Purchase Agreements: Solar Power Without the Upfront Costs for Organizations and Businesses.”


Financing Non-Residential Solar PV Projects

Read a report on financing non-residential solar PV projects by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


Go Solar California!

Solar energy information from the California Energy Commission and California Public Utilities


New Solar Homes Partnership Municipal Tool Kit
California Energy Commission

This Tool Kit provides an array of strategies and options that local governments can implement to help encourage solar developments in their region.


Solar Energy Facility (SEF) Permit Streamlining Guide & Model Ordinance

The California County Planning Directors Association (CCPDA) released its Solar Energy Facility (SEF) Guidance Document and SEF Model Streamlining Ordinance in February 2012.


Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments

The U.S. Department of Energy developed this comprehensive resource to assist local governments and stakeholders in building sustainable local solar markets. The guide introduces a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities around the country. Follow the link to access the second edition of this guide.


Sonoma County AB 811 Program

The Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) offers property owners the opportunity to finance energy efficient property improvements through the property tax system. It is an innovative new effort to improve energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy generation, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Learn about the research and resources available at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


Zoning Amendment Allows Installation of Wind Turbines on Parking Lot Lighting Fixtures

In November 2009 Palmdale amended its zoning ordinance to allow installation of small wind turbines on existing parking lot lighting fixtures.

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