As one of the latest SolSmart Gold designees, Cuyahoga County, Ohio has undertaken an ambitious set of initiatives to expand solar energy in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Midwest, which includes Cleveland and nearby suburbs. In the past five years, these efforts have led to increases in residential and municipal solar—with more to come online in the coming years.
- 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