Engage Potential External Partners - American Cities Climate Challenge
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Developing a Strategy

Engage Potential External Partners

In addition to understanding your internal stakeholders, you may want to take the time to engage with a variety of external partners. When engaging with these groups, consider addressing the following three key messages:

  1. What the selected procurement strategy offers to the partner
  2. How the city will engage with the marketplace 
  3. How the city can act jointly or in concert with the external stakeholder 

Here are some groups you may wish to engage early:  

  • Your Electric Utility

    It will likely be worthwhile to reach out to your electric utility or retail electricity provider to discuss what procurement strategies they may be able to directly implement or support. 

  • Universities, Large Corporations, and Other Institutions

    Large organizations in your community may be able to provide valuable technical or financial support. In some cases, these large institutions may be interested in purchasing renewable energy jointly. In several cases, large companies and/or universities have worked together to collectively procure renewable energy, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s partnership with Boston Medical Center and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation.

  • Nearby Cities and Counties

    Local governments can also form effective partnerships to jointly purchase electricity from a large-scale renewable energy project or collectively advocate for new renewable energy options.

  • Impacted Community Stakeholders

    Cities pursuing on-site solar or large, off-site projects located outside the community may be able to limit their community engagement; however, cities with goals that may directly affect the community should plan to engage with the impacted groups. USDN’s From Community Engagement to Ownership report outlines several approaches to engage with a local community, identifies best practices, and provides a number of illustrative case studies. In addition, the City Energy Project has a number of resources relating to this type of community engagement.

To help you through this process, our Pitch Deck Checklist for Local Governments includes a customizable stakeholder engagement mapping tool which can help inform your determination of which groups to engage and the engagement strategy for each.

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