Carroll County Designated “SolSmart Silver”
Westminster, MD
11/01/2018 03:29 PM

 Carroll County is receiving a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.  This designation recognizes Carroll County for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.   For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Carroll County is “open for solar business.”

Carroll County is the first county in Maryland to receive a SolSmart designation.SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.  More than 200 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

As a SolSmart designee, Carroll County 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 Carroll County 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.  Since 2014, Carroll County has included provisions in the zoning code to allow commercial and accessory solar energy conversion facilities.  In 2017, the Carroll County Environmental Advisory Council produced A Guide to Residential Solar Installation in Carroll County to help citizens navigate the process to take advantage of solar power at the homes.

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 actions 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.

 

Reference
Brenda Dinne
410-386-2140
 
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