Today, with the designation of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, SolSmart marked the 200th community nationwide to achieve designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze! These 200 designees are in 35 states and the District of Columbia and represent over 59 million Americans.
The application process is now open for the third round of SolSmart Advisors. SolSmart Advisors provide no-cost, hands-on technical assistance in communities that are selected through this competitive application process. Each Advisor works in a community or region full-time for approximately six months.
SolSmart is accepting applications for both 1) Communities interested in hosting an Advisor, or 2) Organizations interested in serving as Advisors. Learn more here.
Attend SolSmart webinars on May 16, 2018 to find out more about the process.
- Webinar for Community-Based Application: 2pm Central Time. Register here.
- Webinar for the Organization-Based RFP: 3pm Central Time. Register here.
Examples of actions SolSmart communities have taken to make solar
more affordable and accessible for homes and businesses:
- Cutting permitting costs and saving money for customers. For example, West Palm Beach, Florida started a “walk-through” permit process that takes as little as 15 minutes.
- Engaging with community members to encourage solar development. For example, a SolSmart Advisor helped the cities of Goshen and South Bend, Indiana launch Solarize campaigns, which allow residents to come together to install solar at a discounted cost.
- Reducing zoning obstacles to solar. For example, Brownsville, Texas adopted a zoning ordinance that will help facilitate the growth of new solar projects.
- Streamlining inspection processes. For example, Pima County, Arizona launched a “remote inspections” process to provide same-day approval on solar and other projects.
- Encouraging local job growth. Solar energy employs more than 250,000 Americans.
A SolSmart designation positions a city or county to bring these jobs to the local community.
- Other actions SolSmart communities have taken include installing solar on government buildings, developing “solar-ready” construction guidelines, integrating solar PV with energy storage, hosting community-wide solar workshops, and training local government staff.
Visit SolSmart.org for more information.
By Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World
Cindy Seymour, President of Serenity for Women, believes the following three words should never be linked together – homeless, women and veteran. As women veterans are nearly three times more likely to be homeless as non-veteran women, Seymour sought out partnerships and property to create long-term, sustainable homes for these women in the Syracuse, New York, community. Read the complete story here.
Photo by Mission Solar
MORE INSPIRING NEWS STORIES
- Volunteers, residents work to restore Puerto Rico’s communities, The Washington Post
- Tesla Just Started Six More Battery Projects in Puerto Rico, Inverse. The plan follows the successful deployment of a solar array at a children’s hospital.
- Solar-powered chapel in Ann Arbor hosting open house and tour, Michigan Live. The city, which is promoting the event, is partnering with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light as part of a program called Solar Faithful, which aims to assist houses of worship with going solar.
- UGE plans 198-kW solar system for Minnesota elementary school, Solar Power World
- Duluth, Minnesota’s Hartley Nature Center Reports on Solar Energy Storage Project, Fox 21
- Illinois Power Agency finalizes new renewables procurement rules, Utility Dive. The plan implements measures in the Future Energy Jobs Act that was passed by the state legislature last year.
- Colorado’s solar industry growing jobs, lowering costs, by Biz West guest columnist Jim Ulbrich, product manager for The Clean Energy Collective
- Nearly 60 residences to have solar energy installed. In May, the Town of Amherst launched the first Solarize campaign in the Buffalo Niagara region and, according to town officials, more than 140 residents inquired about Solarize Amherst and a total of 59 solar systems were sold prior to the program ending in September., Amherst Bee
- Town of Warwick receives SolSmart Gold designation: The goal of this U.S. Department of Energy program is to make it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar. To date, SolSmart has recognized 145 communities for achieving SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze, including Lincoln, Nebraska. SolSmart Communities
- Austin scores BIG with solar-powered sports stadium, New Atlas
- PGE Plans Customer, Community Microgrids as Part of Energy Storage Pilot, Microgrid Knowledge
Posted by Avery Palmer, SolSmart News Blog
SolSmart is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Program
Just over a year after the SolSmart program launched, 58 communities in 25 states have achieved designation as “open for solar business.” Representing more than 29 million people, these cities and counties are cutting red tape to reduce the cost of solar energy at the local level.
Today, SolSmart is announcing the latest 22 new designations at the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in New York City. We’re excited and proud to recognize what they’ve achieved. Continue reading.
You can see a map and list of all SolSmart designees here.