In addition to funding, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) provides technical assistance to nonprofit and for-profit organizations, state and local governments, and other entities that are working to address barriers and improve access to solar energy. Learn more about SETO’s technical assistance programs and initiatives below.


SolSmart is a national designation program that recognizes local governments (cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations) for implementing practices that make it easier and faster to go solar. The program provides free technical assistance to communities that are interested in addressing local barriers to solar deployment, such as permitting and zoning. More than 300 communities in the United States have a SolSmart gold, silver, or bronze designation.

National Community Solar Partnership

The National Community Solar Partnership is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household by 2025. Partners leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to set goals and work to overcome persistent barriers to expanding community solar access to underserved communities.

Solar Energy Innovation Network

The Solar Energy Innovation Network assembles multi-stakeholder teams that research  and share solutions to real-world challenges associated with solar energy adoption. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) administers the program and, with other expert partners, provides technical assistance and facilitation support to identify local and regional impacts of team projects, formulate and test innovations, and validate new ideas.

Multi-Lab Energy Planning Support for Puerto Rico

Multi-Lab Energy Planning Support for Puerto Rico is an effort across five National Labs, SETO, and other DOE offices to provide Puerto Rico stakeholders with tools, resources, and training to plan and operate its electric power grid with greater resilience against disruptions. 

Grid Modernization Initiative Technical Assistance for State Utility Regulators

Public utility commissions receive technical assistance from the National Laboratories to help state regulators make decisions and develop innovative solutions to improve grid reliability and resiliency, enable the adoption of new technologies, promote energy and environmental justice, and develop strategies to decarbonize their electric grids.

Additional U.S. Department of Energy Resources

Learn more about soft costs research and SETO's open funding opportunities.