Technical Assistance to Achieve SolSmart Bronze

Sustainable CT is pleased to partner with the Great Plains Institute to offer technical assistance to a select number of communities in 2022 to pursue recognition in the national SolSmart designation program. SolSmart recognizes local governments that have taken steps to address barriers to solar energy and provides no-cost technical assistance to accelerate the development of local solar energy markets. As of June 2021, more than 400 communities have achieved designation as SolSmart Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Through this no-cost assistance program, Great Plains Institute will assist communities that are registered in Sustainable CT to lay out a path to achieve Bronze designation.

Roles / Responsibilities

Great Plains Institute will:

  • Review your municipality’s zoning requirements and identify restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development. GPI will compile their findings in a memo.

  • Create a web-ready checklist detailing the required permit(s), submittals, and steps of your community’s solar permitting process.

  • Provide a training for building inspectors, permitting, and inspection staff on solar PV and/or solar and storage systems technologies and best practices for permitting/inspecting as well as a training on best practices in planning and zoning for solar PV for planning staff.

  • Identify pathway, for communities to achieve SolSmart Bronze and develop a workplan for each community.

  • Identify quantifiable metrics and/or specific actions for solar PV development in the most current version of relevant plans (e.g., energy plan, climate plan, plan of conservation and development.).

Municipality will:

  • Coordinate with Sustainable CT and GPI staff on an ongoing basis; participate in check-in meetings, share requested documents, identify a municipality-specific pathway towards SolSmart designation.

  • Sign a SolSmart Solar Statement, indicating intent to begin the SolSmart designation program.

  • Participate and implement recommendations of GPI as desired, understanding that successful completion of such recommendations are necessary for SolSmart Bronze designation.

Letters of Interest

Interested municipalities should complete and send their SolSmart Solar Statement as soon as possible, and prior to March 1, 2022. Letters should be sent electronically to [email protected]. Letters will be accepted on a rolling basis and considered first come, first serve.