Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: Bronze 2017 / Gold 2018
Once known for its smokestacks and steel mills, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has worked hard to reinvent itself as a renaissance city in terms of climate and air quality over the last several decades. Chattanooga is designated SolSmart Gold for the community’s commitment to making it faster, simpler, and more transparent for residents and businesses to go solar.
- 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
- Created a streamlined process to approve certain solar permit applications over the counter
In order to sustain the unique quality of life generations have come to enjoy in the Tennessee valley, the City of Chattanooga embraces and supports the design, development, and installation of renewable sources of energy that will bring clean, affordable, and reliable access to electricity for all Chattanoogans.
- Mayor Andy Berke