NCTCOG Receives Regional SolSmart Designation for Solar Energy Advances in the DFW Region
“We congratulate NCTCOG as the first regional organization in Texas to achieve SolSmart designation,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation. “This designation recognizes the superb leadership from NCTCOG in leading a collaborative effort to encourage solar and other renewable energy growth in the Lone Star State. Other Texas communities that are interested in going solar should take advantage of the resources that NCTCOG has to offer.”
The SolSmart designation recognizes NCTCOG for helping area communities remove obstacles to solar energy development. NCTCOG has provided guidance to local governments through solar energy training sessions and educational resources available on the Go Solar Texas website, www.gosolartexas.org.
NCTCOG launched the website as a comprehensive guide to increasing solar deployment across Texas. It includes steps for homeowners to go solar, best management practices for local governments, an extensive resource library, training for a variety of audiences, including real estate professionals and fire and code officials, and much more.
“NCTCOG is honored and excited to receive the Bronze SolSmart designation,” NCTCOG Executive Director Mike Eastland said. “Our agency has worked with our member governments over the past few years to develop resources and provide training, to increase deployment of solar energy systems in North Central Texas.”
NCTCOG has also hosted trainings throughout the state for fire and emergency medical professionals on safely responding to house fires where solar panels are installed.
The SolSmart designation recognizes both recent accomplishments and years of leadership from NCTCOG in advancing solar energy growth in Texas. Beginning in 2017, NCTCOG served as a SolSmart advisor, providing technical assistance on solar energy to area communities.
To date, six Dallas-Fort Worth communities have achieved SolSmart designation. Cedar Hill and Corinth were designated SolSmart Gold; Kennedale was designated SolSmart Silver; and Denton, Lewisville, and Plano were designated SolSmart Bronze.
These communities achieved the designation by making changes to local procedures to remove barriers and encourage solar development. For example, Cedar Hill, Corinth, and Kennedale now recognize solar as by-right in their zoning codes, which avoids requirements for special permits or hearings to install solar panels.
NCTCOG plans to expand its outreach to help more North Texas communities achieve SolSmart designation. Municipalities or counties interested in technical assistance on solar energy can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG’s purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. More than 370 local governments in 41 states and the District of Columbia have achieved SolSmart designation, representing 84 million Americans. SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association. Learn more at www.SolSmart.org.