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Now Over 300 SolSmart Designees Nationwide!

From Anchorage, Alaska, to Sarasota, Florida, more than 300 local governments have now met national benchmarks for encouraging the growth of solar energy and removing barriers to solar market development.

The SolSmart designees include cities, counties, small towns, and regional organizations in 40 states and the District of Columbia, representing 82 million people. One in four people in America now live in a SolSmart-designated community! All designees have met national criteria to prove they have streamlined local procedures to make it easier for homes and businesses to install solar energy systems. SolSmart provides intensive technical assistance at no cost to help communities meet these goals.

SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office

Check out the Interactive Map of SolSmart Designees

Subscribe to SolSmart’s Monthly Newsletter

Learn How Your Community Can Get Involved!

Featured Communities

Anchorage, Alaska (SolSmart Bronze)

It may be in the far north, but Anchorage is moving ahead with ambitious plans to meet its energy needs through solar. Since the end of 2015, Anchorage has seen a 1000 percent increase in the number of solar systems installed. In 2018, a group purchase program saw 33 houses install 146 kW of solar in the Airport Heights neighborhood. Solarize Anchorage returned for 2019 in four neighborhoods with systems installed on over 150 properties. In July 2019 the municipality flipped the switch on its first, and Alaska’s largest, rooftop solar array at the William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center. The 77 kW array is expected to save over $20,000 in electricity rates and will pay for itself in less than 8 years.
Anchorage adopted its first climate action plan during the summer of 2019, which included achieving SolSmart designation among its objectives. The city worked with SolSmart to train staff on permitting and inspection best practices, which will allow residents and businesses to avoid delays in solar installations. In the fall of 2019, Anchorage became the 300th community to achieve SolSmart designation.

 

West Palm Beach, Florida (SolSmart Gold)

West Palm Beach has worked with SolSmart to make sure that businesses and residents can be approved for solar PV arrays more quickly than ever before. Last year, West Palm Beach set up an expedited one-day solar permitting process for PV systems of 10 kW or less, making it the first city in the state of Florida to offer a one-day permitting turnaround. This expedited process has allowed the community to add 665 kW of solar energy since mid-2018, representing 50 percent growth within a single year. To increase municipal use of solar energy, the city has enrolled in Florida Power and Light’s Solar Together program, which is a shared solar subscription plan. This will allow for approximately 12 MW of electricity to be offset by solar energy production on large-scale farms.

Southwest Virginia region (1 SolSmart Silver & 7 SolSmart Bronze)
In the coal-producing region of Southwest Virginia, SolSmart worked with eight local governments who wanted to remove barriers to solar energy development and create new opportunities for investment and economic growth. Today, at least seven large-scale solar projects in the area are soon expected to begin construction, helping both residents and businesses save on energy costs. One opportunity for business development is data centers, which often have clients and customers interested in sustainable energy use. Soon to be underway is the region’s first large installation on an abandoned mine, located next to a data center in Wise County.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SolSmart Gold)

As cities across the nation look for ways to promote renewable energy, Philadelphia is a shining example of what local governments can do. The city has taken action to expand solar energy use, make solar more accessible to low-income households, and train high school students for jobs in solar. The Solarize Philly group purchase program has allowed thousands of households to receive free home assessments for rooftop solar. SolSmart worked with the city to help expedite the permitting process and share best practices with other communities in the region. These achievements will help the city achieve its long-term sustainability plans, including 100 percent renewable energy for municipal buildings by 2030.

Find Out More About SolSmart Communities Below!

South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SolSmart Gold)

Boise, Idaho (SolSmart Gold)

Chicago Metro Area (35 SolSmart Communities)

Sullivan County, New York (SolSmart Silver)

Orlando, Florida (SolSmart Gold)

Durango, Colorado (SolSmart Gold)

Asheville, North Carolina (SolSmart Gold)

Ypsilanti, Michigan (SolSmart Gold)

San Jose, California (SolSmart Gold)

The Metropolitan Council (SolSmart Gold)

Central Wisconsin (4 SolSmart Communities)

 

SolSmart 300 Celebration Calendar

Throughout the month of October, SolSmart communities, partner organizations, and Advisor organizations, are planning events, local announcements, and other special activities to highlight their solar energy achievements.

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September
September
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  • Highland Park, Illinois Solar Open House
    All day
    10/03/2019

    Featuring: Highland Park, Illinois (SolSmart Bronze)

    This event offers the opportunity to informally tour innovative green homes and buildings, and see how solar energy can be used efficiently. The tour hopes to inspire people across the state to make sustainable energy choices that reduce costs, support energy independence, protect against power outages, and reduce carbon emissions.

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  • Ypsiltani, Michigan Farmers Market Solar Expo
    All day
    10/05/2019

    Featuring: Ypsiltani, Michigan (SolSmart Gold)

    Ypsilanti has been hosting a local tour for the past 12 years and will again this year at the Ypsilanti Farmers Market. Thinking about solar power for your home or office? Stop by and learn about how it works and the economics of solar power. Pricing continue to drop and solar is more affordable then ever. Bring your power bill to get an estimate of what it would cost to be 100% solar power. Dave Strenski will have a list of solar contractors that can make it happen. Then drive/bike/walk around Ypsilanti and see about three dozen solar installations up close. A SolSmart cake and literature will be featured to highlight the city’s efforts to make it faster, easier, and more affordable to install solar locally.

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  • Marshall County, Indiana Solarize Workshop
    All day
    10/10/2019

    Featuring: Marshall County, Indiana (SolSmart Bronze); Plymouth, Indiana (SolSmart Gold)

    The Solarize Marshall County campaign will kick off with a “Going Solar” Workshop at the Argos Municipal Building at 6:30 pm in Argos, Indiana. Marshall County’s new SolSmart designation will also be celebrated.

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  • San Jose, California Bay Area Home Electrification Expo
    All day
    10/12/2019

    Featuring: San Jose, California (SolSmart Gold)

    Join the City of San José, experts, residents, and technology manufacturers for a full-day of education and resources on home electrification:

    • Hear from industry experts on ways to make your home cleaner, greener and safer
    • Learn about rebates that help you save money
    • Meet with manufacturer representatives and learn about technologies that can add value and comfort
    • Chat with residents and experts about the benefits of shifting to electricity

    The City of San Jose will also be presented its SolSmart Gold plaque!

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  • Manhattan Beach, California Solar Workshop
    All day
    10/16/2019

    Featuring: Manhattan Beach, California (SolSmart Gold)

    Manhattan Beach residents are invited to learn about the benefits and opportunities associated with installing solar on homes on October 16, 2019, at 6 PM at the Joslyn Community Center (1601 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266). Attendees can learn about available solar financial programs, solar system components, and energy storage.

  • Local Governments Leading the Clean Energy Transition
    All day
    10/16/2019

    Featuring: Sullivan County, New York

    Recent years have seen a surge in renewable energy commitments made by local governments with Northeast communities leading this charge. Meanwhile, barriers around finance and technical capacity can prevent implementation of municipally-led projects. However, National programs, state policy, and international advocacy all are making it easier for cities, towns and counties to accelerate renewables targets, particularly for solar power.

    Local governments from across the Northeast region are invited to join state and municipal staff in the gateway to the Catskills during peak foliage season for an ½-day insider discussion on local efforts communities are taking to advance the renewable-energy transition. Learn from New York State Department of Conservation and NYSERDA about the nation-leading climate legislation and the role communities can play in meeting its aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals. We’ll see first-hand how Sullivan County has advanced community solar and electric vehicles, including by achieving SolSmart designation and ICLEI membership. We’ll end with a tour of SUNY Sullivan’s ground-breaking geothermal and solar systems. The event is free and a light breakfast is included.

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  • 2019 International City/County Management Association Annual Conference
    All day
    10/20/2019

    The ICMA Annual Conference offers educational, information-sharing and networking tools to ensure professionals of all backgrounds and career stages are plugged into the most innovative ideas and practical strategies needed to manage the challenges facing local governments.
    With three and a half days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees are equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

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  • 2019 International City/County Management Association Annual Conference
    All day
    10/21/2019

    The ICMA Annual Conference offers educational, information-sharing and networking tools to ensure professionals of all backgrounds and career stages are plugged into the most innovative ideas and practical strategies needed to manage the challenges facing local governments.
    With three and a half days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees are equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

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  • 2019 International City/County Management Association Annual Conference
    All day
    10/22/2019

    The ICMA Annual Conference offers educational, information-sharing and networking tools to ensure professionals of all backgrounds and career stages are plugged into the most innovative ideas and practical strategies needed to manage the challenges facing local governments.
    With three and a half days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees are equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

  • Asheville, North Carolina City Council Meeting
    All day
    10/22/2019

    Featuring: Asheville, North Carolina (SolSmart Gold)

    The city of Asheville will highlight its SolSmart Gold designation following the City Council’s approval of an increase to its rebate of residential solar permit fees (increasing rebate to 100% of the permit fee.)

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  • 2019 International City/County Management Association Annual Conference
    All day
    10/23/2019

    The ICMA Annual Conference offers educational, information-sharing and networking tools to ensure professionals of all backgrounds and career stages are plugged into the most innovative ideas and practical strategies needed to manage the challenges facing local governments.
    With three and a half days of learning, inspiration, and connection, attendees are equipped with the tools and support they need to make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

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  • South Bay California Cohort SolSmart Designation Event
    All day
    10/24/2019

    Featuring: Palos Verdes Estates, California (SolSmart Silver); Hawthorne, California (SolSmart Silver); Manhattan Beach, California (SolSmart Gold); Carson, California (SolSmart Gold); El Segundo, California (SolSmart Gold); Rancho Palos Verdes, California (SolSmart Gold); Gardena, California (SolSmart Gold); Torrance, California (SolSmart Gold); and regional organization designee, South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SolSmart Gold).

    The South Bay Cities Council of Governments will have a SolSmart designation ceremony on Thursday, October 24th beginning at 6:00 PM to celebrate the South Bay region cohort. It will be held at the Redondo Beach Public Library located at 303 N. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.

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November
November