Last week, SolSmart attended and exhibited at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. ICMA leads the SolSmart designation program and their annual conference offers a platform for the distribution of educational, information-sharing, and networking tools to help local government officials lead their communities.
Over the four-day conference, SolSmart hosted an Awards and Community Reception and participated in an educational session titled Building Community Resilience through Solar. The reception brought together SolSmart communities that attended this year’s conference and recognized some of our newest designees including Highland Park, IL; South Barrington, IL; Durango, CO; and Corinth, TX. The educational session provided cities and counties with a roadmap for integrating solar energy into their plans, projects, and long-term resilience strategies.
The 2018 ICMA Annual Conference also gave us an excellent opportunity to interact with hundreds of local government officials and discuss the benefits of SolSmart participation. We cited the example of SolSmart Bronze designee DeKalb County, Georgia, which was interested in installing solar to cut costs. SolSmart helped the county identify the most feasible locations to maximize its investment and savings for local taxpayers. DeKalb County eventually installed over 7,000 solar panels on the Hickory Ridge Landfill. We also cited the example of SolSmart Bronze designee Perry, Iowa, where many residents were interested in installing solar but were unsure of the process. SolSmart helped the city develop a solar landing page on their website, which provides installation resources, a permitting checklist, an interactive solar map of the community, and information on finance and incentive options.
Over the four days, it became evident solar energy is a frequent topic of conversation within communities nationwide. It was exciting to see the growing interest among local governments on how to be more solar friendly. We can’t wait for next year’s conference in Nashville to recognize and help more communities that want to become “open for solar business”.