Solar Designation Program Taps 200th U.S. Community

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SolSmart’s 200 designees are located in 35 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing more than 59 million Americans.

Lee’s Summit, Missouri, became the 200th community to be recognized for taking “key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets,” designation program SolSmart announced Tuesday.

SolSmart’s 200 designees are located in 35 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing more than 59 million Americans. New additions include Atlanta, Chicago, Fairfield, Iowa and Asheville, North Carolina. Colorado and Illinois have the most SolSmart communities with 18 apiece, followed by California (17), Massachusetts and Florida (12), Minnesota (11), Missouri and Texas (10).

SolSmart communities are places that act to cut permitting costs and save money for solar project customers, engage with community members to encourage solar development, reduce zoning obstacles, streamline inspection processes and encourage local job growth, among other things.

SolSmart is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that launched two years ago, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association. The organization is “part of ICMA’s broader effort to help local governments in the U.S. move toward a stronger, more resilient and sustainable future,” according to a news release.

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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