The National League of Cities (NLC) held its annual City Summit conference last week in Los Angeles. This conference was an opportunity to recognize SolSmart designees and help even more communities achieve their solar energy goals.
NLC is on the SolSmart designation and technical assistance team, and their four-day conference gathers local leaders and staff from across the country and offers resources, networking and educational opportunities on a wide-range of local-level topics. Solar energy and climate resilience are of growing interest in communities across the nation, and the City Summit provided great opportunities to learn about these trends and discover new best practices to address them.
SolSmart hosted a City Spotlight panel session, titled “Using Solar Energy to Achieve Municipal Climate and Resiliency Goals,” featuring officials from Gold designated communities including City Commissioner Tony Ortiz of Orlando, Florida; City Councilmember Bob Yates of Boulder, Colorado; and Mayor John Ostenberg of Park Forest, Illinois. These officials shared how solar has affected their communities, their experience in the SolSmart program, and solar lessons learned and best practices. “SolSmart has been beneficial because it has allowed us to explore how we can improve the way we utilize solar energy and use that to help strengthen its value,” said Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz. “In order to make these advancements, we have assessed internal procedures and practices for solar installation as well as worked towards developing a more streamlined permitting process. SolSmart has really been an essential part of the progression of the City of Orlando’s clean energy goals.”
Overall, we enjoyed sharing how advancing solar has empowered cities, towns, and counties across the country to meet their unique interests. We can’t wait for next year’s conference in SolSmart Silver city San Antonio, Texas to showcase a solar success story first-hand and help more communities accelerate solar growth locally.