It may be in the far north, but Anchorage is moving ahead with ambitious plans to meet its energy needs through solar. Between 2015 and 2019, Anchorage saw a 1000 percent increase in the number of solar systems installed. In 2018, a group purchase program saw 33 houses install 146 kW of solar in the Airport Heights neighborhood. Solarize Anchorage returned for 2019 in four neighborhoods with systems installed on over 150 properties. In July 2019 the municipality flipped the switch on its first, and Alaska’s largest, rooftop solar array at the William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center. The 77 kW array is expected to save over $20,000 in electricity rates and will pay for itself in less than 8 years.
Anchorage adopted its first climate action plan during the summer of 2019, which included achieving SolSmart designation among its objectives. The city worked with SolSmart to train staff on permitting and inspection best practices, which will allow residents and businesses to avoid delays in solar installations. In the fall of 2019, Anchorage became the 300th community to achieve SolSmart designation.
- Created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers”>Created an online permitting checklist, increasing transparency for community members and solar installers
- Reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development”>Reviewed local zoning codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development