Over the past three years, the Solar Market Pathways project, a U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office initiative, has supported 14 innovative solar projects around the country with the goal of increasing solar energy adoption by reducing the soft costs associated with solar.

These projects have generated an abundance of new online tools and how-to guides to help customers, developers, local governments, universities, and other stakeholders study and make decisions about solar energy.

The tools include financial calculators, increasingly sophisticated rooftop solar potential tools, manuals, checklists, and software to integrate solar with battery storage systems. They focus on community solar, energy resilience, new markets, colleges and universities, and multi-family housing.

The goals, progress, and resources from each of the 14 projects can be found on the Solar Market Pathways website. Here are some of the best online tools and guides. All are free to use.

Software Tools

Solar Finance Simulator
Midwest Renewable Energy Association