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SolSmart in Music City, U.S.A.

The city of Nashville, Tennessee, is typically known as an attraction for its live music, but last week, it was the destination for all things local government. The 2019 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference drew thousands of local government officials from across the country to the Music City Convention Center for four days of education, information sharing, and networking.

SolSmart, which is co-led by ICMA, joined the annual conversation to share how local governments have the power to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for their residents and local businesses to install solar. In addition to attending and exhibiting, SolSmart hosted an educational session titled Planning and Promoting Solar Energy, and an Awards and Community reception.

The education session was led by SolSmart technical assistance provider Kalee Whitehouse and explored how local governments can set solar development goals, address “solar-ready” concepts, encourage commercial and residential solar participation, and capture benefits of solar development while minimizing risks. The Awards and Community reception convened officials from SolSmart-designated communities and presented the 2019 Special Recognition Awards to communities that earned at least 60 percent of their total points available in one of the eight SolSmart categories. The 2019 awardees included: Berkeley, CA; Bloomington, MN; Missoula County, MT; Chatham County, NC; Pepperell, MA; Miramar, FL, and many more.

The 2019 ICMA Annual Conference made clear that local governments are recognizing the power of solar energy. More and more local governments are taking action to encourage the growth of solar and compatible technologies like battery storage, while removing barriers to solar market development. Whether it’s to help cut electricity costs, become more energy independent, reduce carbon emissions, or spur economic development and create jobs, local governments are ensuring their communities can reap the benefits of a solar-powered future.

The full list of 2019 Special Recognition awardees are listed below:

Berkeley, CA – Permitting; Inspection; Construction Codes; Market Development

Brighton, CO – Permitting

Durango, CO – Permitting

Edina, MN – Permitting; Inspection

Elkhart County, IN – Permitting; Inspection

Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Permitting; Inspection

Marshall County, IN – Permitting; Inspection

Miami Beach, FL – Permitting

Missoula County, MT – Permitting; Utility Engagement; Community Engagement; Market Development

Plymouth, IN – Permitting; Inspection

Pompano Beach, FL – Permitting

Rockford, IL – Permitting; Inspection; Community Engagement

San Francisco, CA – Permitting; Construction Codes; Market Development

Superior, CO – Permitting

Tamarac, FL – Permitting; Inspection

Torrance, CA – Permitting

Village of Lake in the Hills, IL – Permitting; Inspection

Albuquerque, NM – Solar Rights

Anchorage, AK – Inspection

Austin, TX – Inspections; Market Development

Blacksburg, VA – Solar Rights

Bloomington, MN – Inspection

Breckenridge, CO – Inspection

Carson, CA – Inspection

Chatham County, NC – Inspection

Deerfield Beach, FL – Inspection

Durham, NC – Inspection

El Segundo, CA – Inspection

Fairfax County, VA – Inspection

Fitchburg, WI – Inspection

Hoffman Estates, IL – Inspection

Lake County, IL – Inspection

Lansdowne, PA – Inspection

Las Cruces, NM – Inspection

Lincoln, NE – Inspection

Loudoun County, VA – Inspection

Manhattan Beach, CA – Inspection

Miami Lakes, FL – Inspection

Miami Shores Village, FL – Inspection

Miramar, FL – Inspection

Montgomery, IL – Inspection

Pepperell, MA – Inspections

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA – Inspection

Roseville, MN – Inspection

San Jose, CA – Inspection

Sarasota, FL – Utility Engagement

St. Louis Park, MN – Inspection

Village of Bartlett, IL – Inspection

Warrenville, IL – Inspection

Wellesley, MA – Inspection

Woodridge, IL – Inspection