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Environmental Sustainability

Posted on: September 5, 2017

Lafayette receives “SolSmart Gold” award for advancing solar energy growth

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SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, has awarded a gold designation to the City of Lafayette to recognize the community as a national leader in advancing solar energy.

As a SolSmart designee, the City of Lafayette is receiving national recognition for taking steps to adopt practices that make it faster, easier, and cheaper to go solar by reducing solar “soft costs.” These costs, such as permit fees and planning and zoning practices, can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. Reducing these costs leads to savings that are passed on to consumers.  Lafayette’s SolSmart technical advisor provided guidance to the Planning Department to revise the permitting process and review zoning codes, and helped to launch a new Solar Landing Page on the City’s website to provide community solar resources.  Lafayette partnered with Adams County, another gold award designee, to seek technical support from the advisor.

“Lafayette continues to leverage its leadership role to engage with partners in reducing barriers to solar PV for increasing access to cleaner more affordable energy,” said Antoinette Maes, Lafayette Energy Sustainability Advisory Committee Liaison.  “These efforts enable solar energy to be more viable for more of our community businesses and residents.”

Lafayette also received special recognition in the utility engagement category for leveraging collaborative efforts with Xcel Energy to remove inefficiencies between the utility interconnection and community permitting processes.

Along with the support from the SolSmart program, NREL, and the DOE, Lafayette’s newly earned SolSmart Gold designation is a signal that the community is “open for solar business,” which will attract additional solar industry investment, generate economic development and local jobs, and promote the development of clean, renewable energy.

To learn more about Lafayette’s sustainability programs, visit www.cityoflafayette.com/GoGreen.

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