Montgomery County has set the aggressive goal of 100 percent greenhouse gas reductions by 2035, and solar deployment will be key to reaching that goal. The county has incorporated more than 7 MW of solar at government buildings, including microgrid projects at the public services headquarters and a correctional facility. Plans are in the works for major solar projects on a decommissioned landfill and a next-generation bus depot. The county has a Solarize campaign underway that incorporates both solar and EV charging, and its green bank programs offer financing options for residents, businesses, and nonprofits.
- 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