The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is pleased to release the funding opportunity announcement entitled Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC).

The SPARC funding opportunity will establish a national recognition and technical assistance program for local governments—driving greater solar deployment and making it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access affordable and renewable solar energy to meet their electricity needs. Funding recipients will establish and administer a national recognition program and also provide technical assistance and share best practices to communities seeking national recognition for cutting red tape and improving local solar market conditions. 

The SPARC designation, coupled with robust and agile technical assistance, will spur communities across the country to earn recognition for achievements that distinguish them from their peers as they become more solar-friendly, and in doing so, ignite local solar markets while establishing consistency in solar practices across the country. SPARC supports the goals of the SunShot Initiative to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to go solar.


This program will establish prominent national leadership recognition and technical assistance programs for local governments. SPARC has two topic areas: the designation program administrator (topic A), which will establish, name, and maintain the program, and the technical assistance provider (topic B), which will provide technical assistance to help communities achieve ambitious goals that eliminate market barriers and reduce soft costs. Local governments that qualify for recognition will receive a prominent designation and join a peer network of leading communities across the country.

This funding opportunity will result in a maximum of two awards that range from $3,000,000 to $10,000,000. No cost share is required for either topic.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a brief, mandatory concept paper is due on March 5, 2015 at 5pm ET. See all application dates below.

FOA Issue Date:February 5, 2015
Informational Webinar:February 18, 2015 at 4:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:March 5, 2015
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:April 27, 2015
Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:June 2015
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications:August 2015
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations:September 2015


Additional Information