Indiana Borough Designated as “SolSmart” Silver for Advancing Solar Energy Growth
(Indiana Borough, PA – Mar 5, 2020) Indiana Borough has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This designation recognizes Indiana Borough for encouraging solar energy growth and removing barriers to solar development.
The actions Indiana Borough has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs. Additionally, a SolSmart designation is a powerful resource when applying for state & federal funding.
“We are the first community in Western Pennsylvania to become a SolSmart Designee. It’s an honor.” said Borough Council President Peter Broad.
To receive a SolSmart designation, cities and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. Indiana Borough is recognized for the following:
Creating an online permitting checklist
Increasing transparency for community members and solar installers
Reviewing local zoning codes and identifying restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development
Allowing solar by-right accessory use in all zones (so solar installations don’t require special permits or hearings)
Cross-training both inspection and permitting staff on solar PV
SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 300 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
The program uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver, or bronze.
All cities and counties are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.