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Blogs / ICMA | blog / A Wealth of Resources on Using Solar Energy to Prepare for Power Outages: National Preparedness Month, Part 4

A Wealth of Resources on Using Solar Energy to Prepare for Power Outages: National Preparedness Month, Part 4


As the final piece of the National Preparedness blog series, I want to focus on a frequent outcome of all these emergencies—namely, power outage, and provide resources on how solar energy can help you be prepared.  For the previous blogs in this series, see part 1 on flood mitigation and management here, part 2 on wildfire preparation here, and part 3 on hurricane preparedness here.  

While studying abroad in the Gambia in West Africa, I assisted Power Up Gambia in its mission to help improve healthcare delivery by promoting the adoption of solar energy.   Gambia suffers from rolling power outages, and this organization has found that solar is a sustainable and resilient solution.

Likewise, local governments in the United States have found that the adoption of solar can help their communities gain resiliency during disasters.  Here are some resources about implementing solar energy to prepare for power outages:

  1. This fact sheet from ICMA’s U.S. Department of Energy funded Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) discusses the wide range of solar photovoltaic (PV) system applications available to meet critical power needs during emergency operations. It includes examples from several communities.  
  2. Also from SolarOPs is this aggregation of resources on utilizing solar energy to improve community resiliency.
  3. Through their work with the SolarOPs program, the National Association of Regional Councils developed this toolkit on how to use solar for safety, security, and resiliency.  It contains links to more than 35 resources.
  4. Rural communities have the unique opportunity to implement solar and other renewable energy sources because of the abundance of land. This document from the United States Department of Agriculture is a great resource for rural local managers interested in expanding their communities’ renewable energy generation capacity.
  5. ICMA Strategic Partner CH2M HILL released this study on integration of solar energy in emergency planning in New York City, New York.
  6. One of the best ways to mitigate the negative impacts of power outages is to develop an efficient solar energy storage system.  This document from the Clean Energy Group is an introductory guide to solar storage systems.
  7. This webinar from the American Planning Association’s work with SolarOPs features a local energy planner discussing the multiple connections between solar energy and community resilience.

To find out how ICMA can help you solar power your community, contact Amy Roberts (aroberts@icma.org). 

In the Know CTA

How does your community use solar technology in preparing for power outages? Share your stories below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern