Fairfield Ledger
https://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1729744

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 23, 2018

City of Fairfield receives award for solar energy

Mar 06, 2018

The city of Fairfield is receiving a bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.

This designation recognizes Fairfield for taking steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Fairfield is “open for solar business.”

SolSmart is led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 180 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy said, “Fairfield is honored to receive the SolSmart Bronze designation. Our city has been a leader in sustainable practices, including promoting solar power since 2009, and applauds the development of 2 (Mega Watts) of local distributed generation in the city since that time.”

As a SolSmart designee, Fairfield is helping solar companies greatly reduce the cost of installations and pass those savings on to consumers. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity through solar. The actions Fairfield has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.

To receive designation, cities and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.

The city of Fairfield created a solar panel/array installation permit page on its website, to help streamline the process for installing solar within city limits. Officials also reviewed the city’s zoning code to ensure there were no unnecessary restrictions to solar photovoltaic development.

SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver, or bronze.

As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities achieve designation. All cities and counties are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.

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