SolSmart Advisor

Working in the communities for approximately six months, To view, hands-on technical assistance in communities that are selected through a competitive process based on their potential to benefit from the Advisors’ assistance.

Through their experience in public policy, energy consulting, or local government, and after completing training in Washington, D.C., the Advisors work full-time with cities and counties to help them implement changes that will open their communities for solar business.

Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council

Including the following Ohio communities: Athens, Somerset, Amesville, and Athens County (2017).

SolSmart Advisor (July-December 2017)
Sarah Conley Ballew and UpGrade Ohio support staff


As officials and representatives of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council, we are proud to announce our commitment to become a SolSmart-designated community.

In partnership with the SolSmart team, SOPEC member-communities’ elected officials and advocates will work to improve solar market conditions, making access to the solar economy more affordable and less restrictive for our residents and businesses. These efforts will help us reach our shared strategic vision of 1) avoiding exporting dollars out of the region by reducing prices paid for electric generation and utility services and 2) produce locally-owned and -operated electric generation assets, particularly solar energy, to use as an economic development tool.

SolSmart builds upon our council’s relevant program and capital-oriented goals of expanding utility-scale solar and renewable energy projects within our service territory, municipal grid purchasing, demand-response services, energy securities trading, and improving solar literacy among our communities.

SOPEC member-communities will leverage SolSmart to achieve the following goals:

AMESVILLE:  To expand solar financing and community solar opportunities to residents
ATHENS CITY: To increase capacity of city- and community-owned solar projects
ATHENS COUNTY: To identify innovative strategies for utility-scale solar development
SOMERSET: To pursue solar development as a keystone strategy for community revitalization

These efforts combined act as a shared solar statement for SOPEC member-communities, with each community identifying one component as a lead priority. Each goal listed serves as identification to the broad solar-based priorities of SOPEC and improves upon relevant programming within our governmental aggregation role.

Through SolSmart designation and our SolSmart Advisor, Sarah Conley-Ballew of UpGrade Ohio, SOPEC will continue to track key metrics related to solar energy deployment including installed solar capacity, statewide policy related to solar net-metering and renewable energy portfolio standards, and solar market analysis.

Inquiries related to SOPEC’s SolSmart participation can be directed to Eddie Smith, SOPEC’s Operations Coordinator at .