SI2 Receives DOE Award to Study Large-Scale Solar Land Use Challenges 

WASHINGTON, DC —Yesterday, the Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) received a $2.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to test and evaluate innovative community engagement practices used in large-scale solar project siting and permitting.  

SI2 will lead the project, joined by a team of experienced researchers and professionals at Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the 2035 Initiative at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Kearns & West.  

The award was one of four made by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office under their Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 4 (SEEDS 4) program. 

“We are incredibly excited to receive this award and thank the DOE for this opportunity to perform cutting-edge research on large-scale solar siting and permitting,” said David Gahl, executive director at SI2. “By testing stakeholder-developed community engagement practices at actual solar sites, we hope to yield new insights that improve outreach to host communities.” 

The project builds off the stakeholder-driven Uncommon Dialogue: Large-Scale U.S. Solar Development, convened by Stanford, SEIA, and The Nature Conservancy, and balances three imperatives in the development and deployment of large-scale solar projects: climate, conservation, and community.  

In partnership with the Uncommon Dialogue working groups, the project team will identify innovative community engagement practices that will be tested at proposed large-scale solar project sites. Then, UCSB and LBNL will conduct state-of-the-art survey research to evaluate how these practices shape local support for large-scale solar projects.  

Read the full Department of Energy announcement here.


About the Solar and Storage Industries Institute:

The Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) is accelerating the transition to carbon-free electricity through clean energy research and analysis. SI2 aims to use policy research, public education initiatives, and direct outreach to policymakers to explain the benefits of clean energy and develop pathways to widespread solar and storage use. SI2 is the charitable and education arm of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more information, visit and follow SI2 on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.