Washington, D.C., May 1, 2018 – Lee’s Summit, Missouri was designated today as SolSmart Gold, marking the 200th local government nationwide to be recognized under the SolSmart program, which provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities make it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar.
The 200 SolSmart designees are in 35 states and the District of Columbia and represent over 59 million Americans. The newest designees range from small towns such as Fairfield, Iowa; to cities such as Asheville, North Carolina and Shawnee, Kansas; to county governments like Suffolk County, New York. Major cities such New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and many others have also achieved designation. The two states with the largest number of SolSmart designees are Colorado and Illinois (each with 18 designees), followed by California (17 designees), Massachusetts (12 designees), Florida (12 designees), Minnesota (11 designees), Missouri (10 designees), and Texas (10 designees).
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), SolSmart launched two years ago in April 2016. Local governments that meet objective criteria are designated SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze, a signal that the community is “open for solar business.” Every local government in the United States is eligible to receive no-cost technical assistance to achieve designation by SolSmart.
“Local governments are on the front lines of our national clean energy transformation, taking bold action to cut costs and expand solar energy use,” said Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation. “SolSmart has helped 200 local governments and counting reduce administrative hurdles to solar, making them more resilient, more competitive, and well-positioned to attract new jobs and economic growth.”
“SolSmart helps local governments tap the vast potential of solar energy to create jobs, strengthen the economy and power smarter, more resilient communities of the future,” said Marc Ott, executive director, ICMA. “It takes courageous leadership from local governments to prioritize renewable energy, and SolSmart will continue to support them, helping to put the systems in place to attract solar industry investment and to generate the economic development and local jobs that come with it.”
“States and municipalities across the country are increasing investments in solar to meet clean energy goals, and SolSmart is helping local governments lead the way,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “These first 200 cities and counties to be designated ‘SolSmart’ have laid the foundation for hundreds more to follow, creating jobs and bringing new businesses to their communities.”
SolSmart designation recognizes communities that act to:
Other municipalities and counties interested in achieving SolSmart designation can begin the process at SolSmart.org.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers additional communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. Learn more at SolSmart.org.
About The Solar Foundation
The Solar Foundation® is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. Through its leadership, research, and capacity building, The Solar Foundation creates transformative solutions to achieve a prosperous future in which solar and solar-compatible technologies are integrated into all aspects of our lives. Learn more at TheSolarFoundation.org.
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government management worldwide. Its mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. The management decisions made by ICMA’s members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.