Seeking Qualified Candidates for SolSmart Advisors

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SolSmart Advisors are fully-funded, temporary staff who work in cities to provide intensive technical assistance to communities looking to adopt solar-friendly programs and practices.

SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, provides official recognition and no-cost technical assistance to help cities advance solar energy. (Getty Images)
SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, provides official recognition and no-cost technical assistance to help cities advance solar energy. (Getty Images)

Cities across the nation should be aware of a great opportunity to expand solar energy development and lower electricity costs for homes and businesses.

One of the most exciting aspects of the SolSmart program is the opportunity for a city to host a SolSmart Advisor. These Advisors are fully-funded, temporary staff who work in cities for periods of up to six months. They provide intensive technical assistance to communities looking to adopt solar-friendly programs and practices.

Advisors will work with their Host Communities to reduce soft costs and remove barriers to going solar. They will evaluate existing local government programs and processes and their impact on the local solar market environment. Advisors will then apply industry leading best practices to develop actionable plans that will move a community toward designation. They will help cities achieve official SolSmart designation at the gold, silver, and bronze levels, which constitutes official recognition that the community is “open for solar business.”

SolSmart is now seeking qualified candidates for Advisor positions in communities across the country. Candidates for an advisor position should be highly-motivated, experienced self-starters who will use their professional experience to help cities go solar. Interested applicants can find a list of communities with links to detailed position descriptions here.

The ideal candidate for an Advisor is a mid-career professional with a graduate degree and some experience (or a Bachelor’s degree and additional experience) in a relevant field such as planning, public policy, engineering, or sustainability. The Advisor will earn a weekly stipend and gain valuable experience by working with local government officials and other stakeholders to address solar issues.

Any city that is involved in the SolSmart program is eligible to apply for an Advisor. The next opportunity for a city to apply to host a SolSmart Advisor will be in January 2017. The selection process is highly competitive. Communities can apply through regional organizations or partner with neighboring cities to submit more compelling applications.

To participate in SolSmart or learn more about the program, simply fill out this form:

About the Author: Nick Kasza is a Senior Associate with the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities. He is part of a team that administers the SolSmart program and helps deliver technical assistance to cities pursuing SolSmart designation. His areas of expertise include solar photovoltaic project development, due diligence, and risk assessment.