Ann Arbor is deploying solar energy to help meet an ambitious goal for carbon neutrality by 2030. The city launched a Solarize campaign in 2020 that led to 1 MW of residential solar installed, a four-fold increase from prior years. They are working at the state level to help make this program replicable in other communities. The city has set up a resilience hub at a community action network site powered by solar and battery storage, and plans are in the works for installing 1 MW of rooftop solar on municipal buildings and affordable housing sites.
- 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
- Allowed solar by-right accessory use in all zones (so solar installations don’t require special permits or hearings)
- Cross-trained both inspection and permitting staff on solar PV
- Provided a streamlined permitting pathway for small PV systems