Move your city forward into a prosperous and sustainable future by becoming a solar ready community.
By offering an encouraging atmosphere for the implementation of solar, cities can help generate job opportunities, support local solar industries, and become eligible for various solar energy grants.
For many communities sustainability plans, renewable energy goals, and GHG reduction plans can seem achievable during the planning stages but once it is time to implement everything seems to come to a halt. For communities with renewable energy goals, one hurdle that can arise is unfavorable permitting and zoning for the installation of solar. The Ten Steps to Becoming Solar Ready Guidebook outlines actions to reduce such barriers, among others, that are associated with the installation of solar in communities. To help communities address and overcome these challenges, here are the Ten Steps to Becoming Solar Ready.
The following ten steps provide a pathway for Michigan local government to achieve Solar Readiness. Many of these steps can be taken simultaneously and all can be adapted to suit local needs.
STEP 1: BEGIN THE DISCUSSION
First and foremost, introduce the concept of Solar Readiness to raise awareness and gather support for the project. Reaching out to neighboring jurisdictions and utility providers is important to consider during this step.
STEP 2: ADOPT A RESOLUTION
The resolution adoption process introduces the conversation of solar at the leadership level, helping to both inform and ensure buy-in from local officials.
STEP 3: ESTABLISH A GUIDING POLICY THAT SUPPORTS SOLAR
Planning document language that supports the advancement of solar will set the direction towards Solar Readiness and provide the basis for solar-related land use regulation.
STEP 4: UPDATE CODE LANGUAGE
Solar language in your zoning codes will give clear guidance about how solar installations are to be integrated into the community.
STEP 5: CREATE AN EASY-TO-USE PERMITTING PROCESS
Common information and permit language will help residents, businesses, developers and installers have a clearer understanding of the local and regional expectations with regard to solar installation.
STEP 6: PROVIDE EASY ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Online and printed materials that detail how solar installation works in the community will help interested property owners and installers understand local expectations and better prepare for an installation process.
STEP 7: ESTABLISH SOLAR INSTALLATION TARGETS
Establishing solar installation targets will help continue the momentum and ensure that measures are taken to ensure solar readiness leadership in Michigan.
STEP 8: TRAIN STAFF
Increasing staff familiarity with solar technology and installation will help make the permitting process more efficient.
STEP 9: PURSUE SOLAR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Working with development specialists on solar can leverage your Solar Ready Community’s status to enhance economic reinvention.
STEP 10: GO THE EXTRA MILE
Last, but not least, going the extra mile is for communities that are really looking to be a solar leader by developing creative outreach efforts and encouraging programs.
Through the implementation and utilization of these ten steps of becoming Solar Ready, you can prepare your community to help generate job opportunities, support local solar industries, and diversify your energy source dependence. Becoming Solar Ready will help open up your community to new opportunities for economic growth, along with moving your city into a prosperous and sustainable future.
Source: Clean Energy Coalition
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