Alachua County has earned 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 the County for taking steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Alachua County is “open for solar business.”
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. Some of the innovations Alachua achieved include:
- Making a positive environment for solar: Alachua County’s installed per capita solar power capacity is above top 20% of States, greater than 99 watts/person.
- Staff training and expertise: County Growth Management staff are trained in solar best practices. This practical knowledge helps to speed the permitting processes to keep the soft cost of solar as low as possible.
- Convenience for citizens: In addition to reviewing processes, the County created a convenient, online solar permitting site with an interactive solar map of Alachua County.
As a SolSmart designee, Alachua County is helping solar companies 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 the County has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development, and creating local jobs.