The third and final workshop on solar permitting reform for city and county planning staff and code officials is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 in Westchester County, New York.

IREC’s approach to improving solar permitting is rooted in two overarching principles: (1) responsibility for change should be shared between permitting authorities and the solar industry and (2) changes to permitting policies should benefit local governments, solar installers and their customers. Sky Stanfield and Erica Schroeder, both of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP and representing IREC, are the presenters for the workshop series.

Solar Outreach PartnershipThe workshops are designed to help communities evaluate their solar rooftop permitting processes and learn about streamlining efforts that other jurisdictions across the country have found effective. Sponsored by the Solar Outreach Partnership (Solar OPs) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, Solar Ops achieves its goals through a mix of educational workshops, like this series, P2P sharing opportunities, research-based reports and online resources.

Stanfield and Schroeder covered the three primary components of the solar permitting process: the pre-application stage; application submittal and review; and facility inspection.

Using Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting (IREC, May 2012) as a resource for the workshop, SharingSuccessCoverStanfield and Schroeder will offer suggestions on ways to improve and streamline the permitting process in ways that benefit the permitting authority, as well as solar installers and their customers.

Two earlier solar permitting reform workshops were held March 21 in Alameda County, California and April 4, in Mono County, California.

“Some of the communities in attendance had already begun the process of streamlining the process, and were able to share some of their successes and challenges with the other workshop attendees,” said Stanfield.

IREC will continue to work with the communities that participate in all three of the workshops on an ongoing basis, offering one-on-one assistance to help local governments implement the reforms discussed, with the goal of meeting or exceeding all of the IREC/ Vote Solar solar permitting best practices.

For more information about these and other workshop opportunities for local governments, visit the Solar Outreach Partnership website.