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Clean Energy Communities Program: How your municipality can earn CEC credit with solar PV permitting Presented by Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and.

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Presentation on theme: "Clean Energy Communities Program: How your municipality can earn CEC credit with solar PV permitting Presented by Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Clean Energy Communities Program: How your municipality can earn CEC credit with solar PV permitting Presented by Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA/ CT’s Green Bank) June 5, 2014

2 Clean Energy Communities Program Overview Program Steps: 1.Commit to the “Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge” to save energy in municipal buildings* and voluntarily purchase renewable energy By 2018, reduce municipal building energy consumption 20% from baseline levels By 2018, voluntarily purchase 20% of municipal building electricity use from renewable energy sources 2.Fulfill the Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge by taking actions to save energy and to support renewable energy voluntarily 3.Earn energy efficiency and renewable energy points that can be redeemed for clean energy systems and grants for energy-saving projects. *Municipal = Town + Board of Education facilities 93 Communities in CT have made the pledge!

3 Make residential adoption of solar PV easier, faster, cheaper (Rooftop Solar Challenge) Conduct research and develop tools and recommendations (Round I) Make Solar PV Cost-Competitive by 2020 (SunShot) 2 Project Rounds CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Project Overview Package and implement tools and recommendations (Round I and II)

4 CT Residential PV Costs ( ) Soft Cost Percentage Increased to 50%

5 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Municipal Approvals Number of Departments Requiring Approval (R= residential, C= commercial) Town Bridgeport R/C Cornwall R/C Coventry R/C Danbury R/C Fairfield R/C Greenwich RC Hampton R/C Manchester RC Middletown R/C Milford RC Stamford R C West Hartford R/C

6 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Municipal Permit Fees

7 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide Available for download at

8 Help residents and businesses access affordable solar and lower energy costs Improve your town’s sustainability and reputation Ensure solar PV systems are installed safely in your community Pilot techniques that can help streamline all of your municipal permitting Meet your Clean Energy Community pledge Increase business activity in your community CT Rooftop Solar Challenge What’s in it for towns? Prepare Municipal Staff for Solar PV Attract Solar PV Business Become a Greener Community

9 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Recommendations Overview Standardize Permit Application and Submission 1. Adopt Best Practices for Permit Processing 2. Develop Zoning Regulations for Solar 3.

10 1. Standardize Permit Application and Submission Standard Solar PV Permit Application AVAILABLE AS A STANDALONE DOCUMENT ON OUR WEBSITE! Connecticut’s Standardized Solar PV Permit Application Includes:  Comprehensive Application that collects key info necessary for solar PV permitting (can replace or supplement existing permit application)  Attachments:  One-Line Electrical Drawing  One-Line Site Plan Drawing  Attachment Details (Line Drawing)  Solar PV Module and Inverter Specification Sheets from Manufacturer  Pole or Ground Mount Information (if applicable)  Additional Information for Large Solar PV Systems (as specified by the Municipality)  Instructions Sheet for permit application and attachments  Optional Structural Review Worksheet to help assess a roof structure’s ability to support solar PV A solar-specific application helps staff get the info they need, the first time.

11 1. Standardize Permit Application and Submission Online Permitting Examples of Online Permitting Systems in use in CT  Simply Civic – SunShot Initiative Incubator Awardee and CEFIA Project Partner  Lightweight system for online application submission and management  Free for municipalities to pilot through 2014  ViewPermit – Software Partner of CRCOG’s CT Regional E-Government Initiative  Comprehensive land use and permit management software system  17 Communities in CT using View Permit  CityView – Permit, Inspection & Payment Tracking Software  Energov – Planning, Permitting & Licensing Software Additional online permitting software systems are listed in our Permitting Guide ! Online Permitting can help manage increasing workloads.

12 2. Adopt Best Practices for Permit Processing Permitting & Inspection Best Practices Methods for Making the Solar PV process Easier for Staff and Contractors:  Make Information Available Online  Put information about your solar PV permitting process online  Create or update your clean energy website with links to solar PV resources and info about your town’s clean energy activities  Make one department responsible for Solar PV Permits  Consider Reducing or Waiving Residential Solar PV Permit Fees Bridgeport and Manchester have already waived building permit fees for Class I Renewable Energy projects! A Clear Permitting Process Makes Issuing Permits Easier for Everyone.

13 Methods to Help Your Building Department Handle Solar PV Inspections:  Provide Your Staff with Training Resources on Solar  Online training resources and information provided in the Permitting Guide  CEFIA will host a solar PV training for building inspectors  Use the Solar PV Code Compliance Reference  Outlines CT building code requirements for solar PV  Developed by John Wiles, Solar PV Expert at New Mexico State University  Consider Streamlining Inspection Processes  Require a single, comprehensive inspection  Try scheduling a specific inspection time or a narrower window of time 2. Adopt Best Practices for Permit Processing Permitting & Inspection Best Practices Inspector Training (and resources) Can Improve Inspections. COMING SUMMER 2014! CEFIA will be hosting CEU training sessions on solar PV for building officials

14 3. Develop Zoning Regulations for Solar Solar-Friendly Planning & Zoning  Use our Model Zoning Ordinance to design zoning regulations that make sense for your community and solar PV  Examples of Zoning Restrictions that can be barriers to solar deployment:  Height (rooftop and ground/pole mount systems)  Setback (rooftop and ground/pole mount systems)  Lot Coverage (ground/pole mount systems)  Impervious Surface (ground/pole mount systems)  Comply with CT General Statute 7-147(f ) for solar PV in historic and village districts MODEL ORDINANCE AVAILABLE AS A STANDALONE DOCUMENT ON OUR WEBSITE! “No application for a certificate of appropriateness for an exterior architectural feature, such as a solar energy system, designed for the utilization of renewable resources shall be denied unless the commission finds that the feature cannot be installed without substantially impairing the historic character and appearance of the district.” - CT G.S.7-147f Updating Zoning Regulations Can Help You Prepare for Solar.

15 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Recommendations Summary Develop Solar-Friendly Zoning Regulations Model Zoning Ordinance available on our website Standardize Permit Application and Submission Standard Application available on our website Pilot Online Permitting Best Practices for Permit Processing Attend CEFIA’s Solar PV Training for Building Officials Solar PV Code Compliance Reference available on our website We are happy to provide feedback on proposed zoning regulations

16 Clean Energy Communities Permitting Actions That Can Result in CEC Credit Municipal Action Steps for Solar PV Permitting CT Standardized Solar PV Permit Application adopted. Online permitting system adopted including solar PV permit submission and processing. Reduced residential solar PV permitting fee (e.g., fee waiver or flat fee of $200 or less). Have an effective method and criteria to identify if and when a structural review and stamp by a professional engineer is or is not needed. Permitting staff has received solar PV-specific training relevant to improving staff processing and review of solar PV permits. Permit Application Requirements, Review and System Inspection (all of the following must be met)  No community-specific licenses are required over and above state requirements for solar energy workers.  One department is responsible for receiving and approving the solar PV permit. Unnecessary steps and approvals have been eliminated.  When an inspection is required, a single comprehensive inspection is conducted, and efforts have been made to provide a more specific inspection time. Municipality has amended its zoning regulations to make them significantly more flexible for and friendly to solar PV. Other significant action taken for which CEFIA might consider awarding points. E.g.:  Make information on permit process available online and create or update a municipal clean energy website  Offer local incentives for clean energy  Require consideration of solar-friendly design in subdivision regulations

17 Clean Energy Communities Substitution Values 1 Permitting action = 1% of a municipality’s clean energy pledge Permitting actions can meet up to 5% of a municipality’s clean energy pledge Number of Actions TakenSubstitution Value 1 action1% 2 actions2% 3 actions3% 4 actions4% 5 actions5% 6 actions5% 7 actions5% 8 actions5%

18 Clean Energy Communities Permitting BONUS Points SunShot Promotional Period June 1-December 31, points = 1kW Solar PV Number of Actions TakenBonus Points 3-4 actions50 points 5+ actions100 points The first 5 towns to take 5 or more Municipal Action Steps for Solar Permitting will earn an additional 100 points!

19 CT Rooftop Solar Challenge Next Steps…  Download the CT Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide and Associated Resources  Download the CEC Points Fact Sheet: Municipal Action Steps for Solar PV Permitting (Look under the “Bonus Rewards” tab)  Want More Info or Assistance? Contact Isabelle Hazlewood – Project Manager for RSC II or (860)  Interested in exploring some of the recommendations and tools in our Guide?  We can provide individualized help and support to towns interested in improving processes for solar PV How Can Your Municipality Start Benefiting? THANK YOU!

20 This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy award number DE-EE Disclaimer: This presentation was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof. The material provided in this presentation is not intended to replace or supplant existing state or federal codes or regulations. There are no warranties associated with the use of this information. Some of this material, which is/was believed to be accurate at the time of presentation, may no longer be accurate, current, or comply with existing codes and regulations. Neither the authors nor any other organizations or individuals who have contributed to this project report are accountable for the use or misuse of information obtained herein. The views expressed in this report are not necessarily the views of the entire project team, the state of Connecticut nor contributors of information to the project and report. Rooftop Solar Challenge Acknowledgement & Disclaimer


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