Designation Level: SolSmart Bronze
Year Designated: 2019
In partnership with the Ramsey County, the Minnesota Government, the Metropolitan Council, and the Great Plains Institute, SolSmart co-hosted the 2019 Annual MN SolSmart Solar Permitting Best Practices Workshop in Maplewood, Minnesota. The event convened leading solar communities in Minnesota for a solar permitting training seminar, panel discussion, and SolSmart designation ceremony.
- 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 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
The SolSmart program has provided technical assistance to county staff allowing us to create a policy framework for action on solar projects and thoughtful, practical action on assessing solar potential for county facilities. The expertise of the SolSmart staff and its technical advisors has been tremendous and their assistance is much appreciated.
- Mary T'Kach, Energy and Sustainability Planner