FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The use of solar is said to be an efficient way to capture the energy of the sun. Because of its efforts to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar, Broward County is receiving a Bronze designation from the national SolSmart program.

This designation recognizes Broward County for taking steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Broward County is “open for solar business.”

As a SolSmart designee, Broward County is helping solar companies greatly reduce the cost of installations and pass those savings on to consumers. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity through solar. The actions Broward County has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.

To receive 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. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.

Broward continues to work towards its goal of sourcing 20 percent of its electricity from renewables including solar. Specific actions the County has taken include adopting a model zoning ordinance and developing a uniform standard permit application with its partner cities in the 2014 Go Solar initiative. Over the past few years the County has hosted group solar purchase programs through a partnership with FL SUN and provides information to consumers about different solar PV financing options, such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which has been available countywide since 2016 for both commercial and residential properties.

“As the solar market now approaches the point where installations are cost effective and easily accessible, in addition to providing the immeasurable benefits of contributing to a reduction in the acceleration of sea level rise, providing the technical resources and showcasing opportunities for investments in solar across the community will continue to be our top priority,” said Samantha Danchuk, Assistant Director, Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division.

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. SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development.

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