West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach has worked with SolSmart to make sure that businesses and residents can be approved for solar PV arrays more quickly than ever before. In 2018, West Palm Beach set up an expedited one-day solar permitting process for PV systems of 10 kW or less, making it the first city in the state of Florida to offer a one-day permitting turnaround. This expedited process allowed the community to add 665 kW of solar energy, representing 50 percent growth within a single year. To increase municipal use of solar energy, the city has enrolled in Florida Power and Light’s Solar Together program, which is a shared solar subscription plan. This will allow for approximately 12 MW of electricity to be offset by solar energy production on large-scale farms.
- 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