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  • County earns Gold Designation for solar efforts

    Jul 18, 2017 | Read More News
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    Pima County has received the gold designation from SolSmart for its efforts in promoting and advancing solar energy. 

    solar fieldThe U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative provides funding for SolSmart. As a SolSmart Gold designee, Pima County receives national recognition for adopting programs and practices that make it faster, easier, and cheaper to go solar. 

    Pima County was selected for the work Development Services and other County departments have done to accommodate residential and utility-scale solar energy. A key factor has been Development Services efforts to reduce soft costs associated with solar installation, such as implementing a remote inspection program and decreasing permitting turn-around times. 

    The County also implemented zoning code changes over the years to remove the ambiguities toward solar that previously existed in code and create a Renewable Energy Incentive District to allow utility-scale solar facilities to be developed more expeditiously. 

    “Pima County has worked very hard to remove the barriers to residential and utility-scale solar power,” said Carla Blackwell, Director of Pima County Development Services. “We’re honored SolSmart has recognized this effort that has helped to bring numerous communitywide benefits.” 

    A SolSmart designation shows the community Pima County is “open for solar business,” and ready to attract solar industry investment, generate economic development and local jobs.

    About SolSmart

    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 SunShot Initiative, 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 SunShot Initiative 

    The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot

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