Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: 2019
In 2019, 23 Illinois municipalities and counties, including Rockford, received the coveted SolSmart designation in a ceremony at Argonne National Laboratory. These communities received no-cost technical assistance from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, which served as a SolSmart Advisor and was the chief catalyst in the communities’ drive to seek designation.
- 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