Project Director: Nate Hausman

Five New England states—Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—with support and coordination from CESA, have forged the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership. The Partnership, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II program, is working to build the regional solar market by targeting non-hardware “soft” costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The partnership is refining and deploying innovations developed in Connecticut and Massachusetts for DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge I, and more widely implementing solar best practices from across the region. The Partnership is tackling a wide range of barriers to PV deployment including: difficult, costly, and slow permitting and interconnection processes in some locations; the need for new financing tools and cost-efficient group purchasing arrangements; and unfavorable zoning rules for solar in some jurisdictions.

The Partnership is reducing solar soft costs by pursuing four broad objectives:

  1. Increase coordination among participating states and with key stakeholders in those states.
  2. Refine, combine, and deploy innovative tools and practices from Connecticut and Massachusetts Rooftop Solar Challenge I projects, and from other earlier efforts in those states and Vermont.
  3. Implement other best practices more widely across the region, with a particular focus on achieving more consistent policies and practices across state lines. 
  4. Communicate lessons learned and best practices beyond New England.

The lead state agencies for the Partnership are:

The project was completed in the fall of 2016. CESA produced summary report  on the project's activities, and includes  background on some of the lessons and best-practices that have been gleaned from the project, areas where participating states are focusing their soft cost-reduction efforts moving forward, and steps stakeholders can take to help advance their program goals.

f you have any questions about Rooftop Solar Challenge II or the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership, contact Nate Hausman at the Clean Energy States Alliance by phone at (802)223-2554 x206 or by email at