The Solar Foundation leads SolSmart, a national designation program recognizing communities that make it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. Communities that achieve designation are recognized as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze.
A SolSmart designation sends a signal to solar companies that a community is “open for solar business.” It provides official recognition that a community has worked to remove obstacles to solar energy development, helping attract economic development and new jobs.
Local governments achieve designation by meeting objective criteria to show they have removed obstacles to solar energy growth. This includes evaluating local processes for permitting, planning and zoning, and market development and finance. SolSmart also recognizes communities for other activities such as outreach and their work to improve resilience.
A team of national experts led by The Solar Foundation provides no-cost technical assistance to help local governments achieve designation. All municipalities and counties in the United States are eligible to sign up and receive this no-cost assistance. A select number of communities also have the opportunity to host SolSmart Advisors – experienced, temporary staff who work in communities for up to six months.
Since the program launched in April 2016, more than 150 cities, counties, and small towns across the nation have achieved SolSmart designation. Learn about the designees here.
SolSmart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. To learn more, contact us at SolSmart@SolarFound.org.