Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: Silver 2016 / Gold 2017
Charleston County has earned its place in the SolSmart “hall of fame” as one of the first SolSmart designees in the U.S. Southeast. As the county achieved Bronze, Silver, and then Gold designations, county staff worked to streamline solar processes and organize resources to make going solar faster, simpler, and more transparent for residents and businesses alike. SolSmart presented a great opportunity for the county to combine efforts, work as a team, and make effective plans to achieve solar-related goals.
- 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
Solar Power is a great example of how Charleston County strives to be on the cutting edge of providing the best to our citizens. This award is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on our efforts to provide our citizens, businesses, and industry the best support and tools they need to invest in solar power.
- County Council Chairman Elliott Summey