SolSource Database

Aurora, ENEL

Solar energy will play a critical role in decarbonizing the United States’ electrical grid and the growth in installed capacity of large-scale photovoltaic solar energy will continue to increase in the coming decades. A clear understanding of the risks and benefits of solar energy to natural resources is needed to ensure the process of siting and permitting solar energy projects minimizes impacts and maximizes benefits.

Collaboration through data-sharing will rapidly increase our understand of solar-natural resources challenges and opportunities. Rather than starting the environmental review of each new solar project from a place of complete uncertainty, we can pool information from numerous solar projects across regions for review and synthesis.


A New Data-Sharing Infrastructure

The Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute (REWI) was awarded funding through the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to design and construct the SolSource Database – a data-sharing infrastructure that will adapt to the emerging needs of solar energy and natural resource stakeholders.

The SolSource Database will be a community resource of solar-related information that can support project siting of industry and be reviewed by public agencies. It will also promote scientific research addressing pressing solar energy-natural resource risks, challenges, and opportunities. Feedback from our stakeholders during the development of the SolSource Database will be incorporated into all components of the project.


Project Components

  • Assess available information – Solar and natural resource research questions and their associated data collection efforts will be identified through literature review and outreach to REWI’s network of collaborators.
  • Create data standards and templates – Streamline the process of assimilating various data types in SolSource Database. Utilize stakeholder engagement to develop data-sharing agreements.
  • Develop a prototype – A beta version of SolSource Database will be shared with stakeholders to test and provide feedback to improve functionality.
  • Finalize – Incorporate stakeholder feedback and create a web-based user interface with the ability to browse available databases, access agreements and templates, upload completed data templates, and view summary tables and graphics of the data.
  • Disseminate – Targeted outreach to demonstrate the utility of SolSource Database and recruite future users through webinars and conferences.


More information about SolSource Database will be made available as the project gets underway. We look forward to working with the community on this important resource.


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and domestic benefit of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at


For more information, please contact Dr. Josh Ennen ( or Ryan Butryn (