DOE Expands SolSmart Program to Bring More Solar Energy to Underserved Communities

Image by Sebastian Ganso from Pixabay
Published On
Jun 15, 2022

In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an expansion of its SolSmart program to bring solar energy to underserved communities. The expansion will provide additional funding and technical assistance to help more than 60 new communities (including the first participating communities in Puerto Rico) install solar power systems.

SolSmart launched in 2016 to make it easier for communities to go solar.

As part of the announcement, the DOE also revealed a $10 million award to the International City/County Management Association and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council to update and expand the program to enable it to help an additional 500 communities over the next five years, focusing hugely on underserved communities.

In addition to providing a clean, renewable source of energy, solar power offers economic benefits, including creating jobs and saving money on energy bills. However, there is no even distribution of solar power across the United States. Some communities have been left behind during the transition to clean energy with a lack of resources and technical expertise.

Programs like SolSmart and other community solar initiatives aim to reduce this inequity by making it more affordable and easier to go solar. The expansion of the program will help even more communities take advantage of solar power and the meaningful benefits it provides.

“GPI applauds the US DOE’s announcement to expand its SolSmart program to help achieve the administration's goal of ‘a fair, clean energy grid by 2035,’” according to Brian Ross, vice president of renewable energy at the Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development.

The expansion of the SolSmart program will help ensure that all communities can benefit from solar power's economic and environmental advantages.

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Heather Burdo

Heather Burdo brings 8+ years of experience to digital marketing and content. She has diverse experience with industries. Reach her at

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