ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, has received a $5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to head a team that will work with local government leaders and stakeholders to accelerate wider adoption of solar energy. ICMA will work with the American Planning Association, the National Association of Regional Councils, and industry experts on this new project. DOE formally announced the award on April 16.

The DOE award will help ICMA share best and leading practices with and provide consulting support and assistance to local governments in “overcoming technical barriers to solar energy adoption by sharing resources that have been developed through other DOE-sponsored activities, such as the Solar America Cities program,” according to a DOE release.

“Helping communities shift toward solar energy makes sense from an economic and environmental perspective and is in line with ICMA’s mission of improving local government,” said Ron Carlee, ICMA director of strategic domestic initiatives.  “We are delighted that DOE recognizes ICMA’s capacity to serve as both a catalyst and clearinghouse for local governments as they explore alternative energy sources.”

The Department of Energy award underscores ICMA’s expertise in the area of creating more sustainable communities. For years, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA), ICMA has helped local governments address the issue of contaminated, under-utilized or abandoned commercial or industrial properties by managing and cosponsoring (the National Brownfields Conference (www.brownfields2011.org), which attracts more than 5,000 attendees.

Since 1996, ICMA has been the institutional home of the Smart Growth Network (www.smartgrowth.org), and the organization also manages LGEAN, the Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (www.lgean.org), a user-friendly resource for general and compliance information about environmental issues.

About ICMA

ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. Its mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management of local government. ICMA provides member support; publications, data, and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA’s members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.