Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: Bronze 2016 / Gold 2017
- Created a streamlined process to approve certain solar permit applications over the counter.
- Developed local process to enable solar rights through a solar access ordinance, mandating that subdivisions greater than 10 acres be platted in a north-south orientation to maximize solar access.
- Installed solar PV on local facilities, totaling 219 kW across six facilities including RiverCentre Parking Ramp, Rondo Library, and Science Museum of Minnesota, among others.
- Integrated solar PV with electric vehicles via the installation of three solar PV charging stations.
- 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