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On-Site Solar

Celebrate Successes and Share Your Story

Once the deal is signed, you should work closely with your press office, the project developer, and other key contributors to the project to publicize your success. You can work with the project developer on communicating project details to ensure there are no misunderstandings about what details should remain private until specific milestones are met.

The six steps below will help you to align with project partners and communicate success to your community, other cities, and beyond:

Learn More

In addition to sharing your story, we highly encourage you to share it with the ACCC Renewables Accelerator team. We would be happy to help you communicate your success to other cities. Feel free to contact us here.

  • Align internally

    Work with your communication team to determine how you would like to publicize your efforts. Important considerations include the project’s contribution to your city’s renewable energy or climate goals or additional social, economic, and environmental benefits of the project. Consider creating a project webpage or one-stop-shop for the project to accurately and clearly communicate progress and details. For guidance around making public claims, see the EPA’s Local Government Solar Project Press Release Template and IEA’s Communication Best-Practices for Renewable Energy Project Press Releases:
    The EPA’s Local Government Solar Project Press Release Template is tailored to guiding local governments through legal claims to RECs in press releases.
    Communication Guidance:
    IEA’s Communication Best-Practices for Renewable Energy is a detailed report on best practices for communicating renewable energy programs (summarized key findings available here).
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  • Communicate your needs early on

    Be explicit and upfront about messaging needs with your developer. If you have strict needs, such as deadlines or specific reporting requirements from an outside funder, you may want to consider including these requirements in the contract.

  • Coordinate media strategies throughout the process

    Even after you have agreed on how and when to communicate your announcement, continue to coordinate on specific public-relations deliverables with project partners. This will ensure messages from all parties echo one another and that you reach the largest audience. For more insight into best practices on how to communicate your efforts, consider reviewing the City Energy Project’s resources on this topic. While these resources and examples were designed for energy efficiency projects, many of the core principles and tips may also be useful for renewable energy efforts.

  • Promote project ribbon-cuttings

    Invite key external stakeholders and project partners to promotional and celebratory events, including utility representatives, elected officials from your city, county, and state governments, and from Congress. If you received external funding support (tax credits, grants, philanthropy, etc.), be sure to invite your funders as well.

  • Arrange site tours

    Invite elected officials, residents, and local press on site tours to see the project up close.

  • Share lessons learned

    Use platforms such as the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), the American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC), and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability to share lessons learned with other cities. Consider developing a case study to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.

Outcome

  • An operational project which meets your city’s energy and greenhouse gas needs
  • A highly-educated, experienced set of internal team members and external consultants who can assist with future projects
  • A well-publicized initiative, the impact of which is clearly communicated to the broader community
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