SolSmart, a national program that honors local communities for their efforts to encourage the use of solar energy, awarded Longmont the “SolSmart Gold” designation, city officials said on Friday.
Longmont Power and Communications officials said in a press release that “SolSmart communities are known for their work in streamlining the solar process and reducing the incidental costs of installing a solar power system, such as permits, funding and other non-material expenses “.
The SolSmart Gold designation is to be noted in a special presentation at the Longmont City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. This is the third time that the city has been recognized by SolSmart, first in 2017 with the bronze level designation of the program, and then in 2020, with a silver designation.
Longmont officials wrote to board members that “SolSmart is funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Solar Technology. As such, this honor is a national recognition of the work Longmont is doing to streamline the solar application and installation process. This award is also a testament to the community’s commitment to a cleaner environment.
Longmont staff said in their press release that to achieve the gold designation, a city must have a streamlined three-day solar permit review and approval process, and clearly state in the ordinances of zoning that incidental use of solar photovoltaic technology is permitted in all major areas. .
“The SolSmart rewards are all about the customer: how easily can they plug into solar power if they decide to do so? Longmont Power and Communications executive director Dave Hornbacher said in the city’s press release. “We are happy to give our community a simple and user-friendly way to pursue renewable energy, and we are honored that these efforts are recognized. “
Officials said Longmont Power and Communications has around 525 solar customers, most of them residential. As an owner-member of the Platte River Power Authority, the Longmont utility company also derives nearly half of its own electricity from renewable sources, including the 30-megawatt Rawhide Flats solar sites and the 22-megawatt Rawhide Prairie Solar. .
The agenda for Tuesday night’s Longmont City Council study session also contains a report on the town receiving the American Public Power Association’s “smart energy supplier” designation – a designation that staff of the city declares “recognizes the efforts of the city in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies and environmental initiatives with regard to electrical services.
The Smart Energy Provider Program is a designation of best practice for electric utilities that can demonstrate commitment and competence in energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy and environmental initiatives. The aim of the program is to provide national recognition for a utility’s efforts to integrate energy efficiency and sustainability while providing affordable electric service, city staff said.
There are 94 electric utilities holding the Smart Energy Supplier designation, including Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs in Colo., Out of a total of over 2,000 electric utilities in the United States, Longmont staff reported.
For more information
Longmont City Government Information on Solar Power Systems: tinyurl.com/9ssd9hw8
SolSmart web page: solsmart.org
Study session of the Longmont municipal council: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Civic Center Council Room, 350 Kimbark Street.
Program of the meeting: tinyurl.com/hp82btat