Solar Market Pathways Logo

The Cook County Department of Environmental Control has received a federal cooperative award of $1.2 million to help bring community shared solar power to the region.

The Solar Market Pathways project was one of 15 awarded nationally as part of the U.S Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Application for the cooperative agreement was made in coordination with the City of Chicago.  Additional partners include nonprofits Elevate Energy and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and technical consultant West Monroe Partners. ComEd is also a member of the project’s Steering Committee.

A key goal of this project is to develop five to seven community solar demonstration sites for within Cook County.  The project seeks rooftop and vacant land properties to potentially serve as host sites for the pilot program.  While this grant will not fund the implementation of solar development, it will provide design, solar assessment and technical and financial feasibility analysis.  With community solar projects, there is no cost to the property owner of the host site and, instead, the property owner can benefit from lease revenue and/or reduced energy costs.

Cook County Solar Market Pathways Documents

Opportunity Assessment
Opportunity Assessment front Page

Opportunity Assessment Part 2
Best Practices Analysis

Best Practices Front Page

The Cook County Community Solar Best Practices Analysis identifies model programs and best practices in Community Solar.  Through research of national community solar material from leading authorities and examination of case studies from successful community solar programs this analysis will provide a framework and clear pathway for establishing policy positions to incentivize and accelerate community solar in Cook County.

Cook County Solar Market Pathways Meetings

Cook County SunShot Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting, April 1, 2016

The Project Team presented current deliverables and a panel discussion was held focusing on issues for site owners to consider regarding hosting a community solar project.

Cook County SunShot Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting, October 29, 2015

Three Working Groups, representing the participation of more than 80 stakeholders, presented their findings from meetings held over the last five months on community solar business models, policy andoutreach and education. Manuel Avendano from ComEd presented critical information on the impact of community solar on the electricity network.  Project partners gave updates on project progress to date and next steps including site discovery and pilot development.

Cook County SunShot Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting, March 25, 2015

Cook County Community Solar – Stakeholder Advisory Group Kick-Off this presentation was given by Deborah Stone, Director of the Cook County Department of Environmental Control and Chief Sustainability Officer; Anne Evens, CEO of Elevate Energy; and Mat Elmore, Senior Solar Project Lead at Elevate Energy.


The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at