SolSmart Designees

Mercer Island

SolSmart Gold
Population: 25,984
Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: 2017
  • 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
Receiving Gold designation in 2017 was the culmination of a multi-year effort to promote solar as a feasible clean energy alternative, even up here in Northwest Washington; we're especially proud to be one of just seven SolSmart cities in our state. Interest continues to grow: since then, we've added another 65 installations (over 800 kilowatts) and now we're seeing residents choose solar to charge their Electric Vehicles.
- Ross Freeman, Sustainability Manager, City of Mercer Island