Designation Level: SolSmart Bronze
Year Designated: 2016
While Inyo County is California’s second largest county by land area, it has the lowest population density of any county in the state at less than 2 people per square mile. With more than half of the county land area encompassed by Death Valley National Park (the lowest point in North America) and Mount Whitney (the highest point in the contiguous U.S.) on its eastern border, the county is home to a range of physical extremes. Inyo County leaders have begun to utilize its physical geography and natural assets for renewable energy development, capitalizing on its rural competitive advantage.
- 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
- Created Solar Energy Development Areas (SEDA) to encourage and incentivize solar PV development
- Created a solar-specific landing page on the community’s website, to educate community members about solar PV
- Installed solar PV on local facilities
Through actions such as our expedited permitting process and our award-winning Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment, Inyo County is proud to be a leader in solar planning and is committed to making solar development as easy as possible for our citizens.
- Cathreen Richards, Inyo County Planning Director