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SolSmart Solar Advisor

The Solar Foundation

Chapel Hill, NC

Planning/ Land Use

Skill Level: Mid Level

Position Type: Limited Contract

~ The Solar Foundation (TSF) is the leading provider of high-quality economic impact analyses for the solar industry through its annual Solar Jobs Census work, a trusted partner for technical assistance spurring public sector implementation across 300 cities and counties, and a champion of solar in schools. ~

An independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1977, TSF's mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research and education that transform markets.

Position Overview

TSF, serving as the Technical Assistance Provider for the SolSmart program - funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative - is seeking a highly-motivated, experienced self-starter to act as a SolSmart Advisor to the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and Orange County, North Carolina.

SolSmart Advisors are temporary, program-funded and -trained staff who work in selected communities pursuing SolSmart designation for up to six months. This Advisor will assist the host communities in addressing solar "soft costs" and other barriers to the use of solar energy. The Advisor will work with municipal staff and other stakeholders (both internal and external) to apply industry-leading best practices that allow each of these three communities to achieve SolSmart designation.

Specifically, the Advisor will help these communities achieve SolSmart criteria ( related to solar permitting and inspections, planning and zoning, construction codes, solar rights, and community engagement.

In this role, the Advisor will likely have responsibilities such as (but not limited to) reviewing and providing feedback on zoning requirements, incorporating solar into local plans, streamlining the permitting process for solar PV systems, implementing solar training programs for municipal staff, and interfacing with community members and other stakeholders on solar issues and programs.

Additionally, the Advisor will interact with surrounding communities to promote the SolSmart program and engage in regional discussions about solar energy. Click here for a complete scope of work for each community.  

Note: This is a temporary, contractual position based in Chapel Hill, NC that will last no more than six months.

Advisors are independent contractors and not employees of The Solar Foundation, the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro, Orange County, or the U.S. Department of Energy.

All Advisors will be required to travel to Washington, D.C. the week of January 9-13, 2017 for a training session. The SolSmart program will cover all reasonable and necessary travel costs associated with this training session.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Working with municipal staff to reduce solar "soft costs;"
  • Assisting the host communities in their pursuit of solar goals related to SolSmart criteria, including solar permitting and inspections, planning and zoning, construction codes, solar rights, and community engagement;
  • Tracking key metrics related to both solar energy in the host communities and progress toward SolSmart designation;
  • Engaging in regular communication with SolSmart Technical Assistance Provider Team; and
  • Conducting SolSmart program outreach to communities within the region.


Candidates for this position will: 

  • Possess a graduate degree or equivalent in public policy (with a focus in renewable energy/sustainability or local government management/issues), planning, engineering, business, law, or environmental management, and 2+ years of work experience related to one or more key criteria topic areas OR a related Bachelor's degree and 5+ years of relevant experience;
  • Have superb written and verbal communication skills and be an effective facilitator;
  • Understand what motivates local government staff and elected officials to embrace and pursue program and process changes - and the competing interests that may inhibit them from doing so;
  • Have experience or strong interest in supporting the solar industry by working in local solar/clean energy issues;
  • Have the ability to work well with limited supervision; and
  • Be eligible to work in the United States.

Compensation: The Solar Foundation will provide a stipend of up to $1,250 per week for up to six months. All other costs (e.g. travel to, within, and between the host communities) will be borne by the Advisor or included as cost share by the host communities. 

To Apply 

Please click below: "Apply Now Online!" to email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample - all of which should demonstrate your experience, qualifications, educational background, and your desire to succeed in this position - to Philip Haddix, with the subject line "NC SolSmart Advisor."  

Note: If you wish to be considered for more than one of our SolSmart Advisor Communities, please indicate all communities of interest (listed in order of preference) in your application email. A full list and short description of these communities is available here

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

Contact Information:
Philip Haddix

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