St. Louis Park
Designation Level: SolSmart Gold
Year Designated: Silver 2021 / Gold 2022
In partnership with the Ramsey County, 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 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
St. Louis Park is proud to have earned a bronze SolSmart Award for revising our solar permitting process and creating a residential solar permit checklist. Simple steps like these can have a considerable effect on removing some of the barriers to the adoption of solar and fostering the growth of local solar markets, and we need every available tool in our toolkit to reach our city’s ambitious 2040 carbon neutrality goal.
- Brian Hoffman, Director of Building and Energy