The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has been designated as a regional SolSmart community, having received the Silver designation. The agency is one of only a handful of regional organizations across the country to receive the designation.

SolSmart is a national program designed to recognize local governments for encouraging solar energy growth. Communities that pursue SolSmart designation receive no-cost technical assistance from a team of national solar experts.

In MORPC’s case, the agency can leverage the resources it has already made available to its member communities, such as the Central Ohio Solar Energy Toolkit for Local Governments, to encourage them to install solar energy systems.

“SolSmart designation provides high-profile, national recognition for communities that have made it faster, easier and more affordable for residents and businesses to go solar,” said Dr. Kerstin Carr, MORPC’s director of planning & sustainability. “Through this designation, we want to signal that our region is ‘open for solar business,’ and we’re ready to help more communities as they consider solar, along with the sustainability and economic development benefits it brings.”

Benefits of having a SolSmart designation include:

  • National recognition of MORPC’s expertise in renewable energy, elevating the services it provides to members
  • Establishing MORPC as the go-to resource in Central Ohio for preparing communities to be solar-ready
  • Free technical assistance to strengthen MORPC’s solar toolkit and promote its value to members
  • Additional, free technical assistance for future solar-related MORPC projects and analyses
  • Free technical assistance for MORPC members to receive their designation

“Encouraging our members to receive their designation and take advantage of technical assistance is one more way we are providing value to Central Ohio communities,” said Brandi Whetstone, sustainability officer at MORPC. “It aligns perfectly with MORPC’s Local Government Energy Partnership, Sustainable2050 and the Regional Sustainability Agenda.”

Within Central Ohio, Franklin County and the Village of Somerset have already been designated as Solsmart Bronze communities.

In contrast to municipalities and counties, MORPC received its designation through the SolSmart Regional Designation Pathway. MORPC will be eligible for Gold status when at least 16 communities within the region have been designated by SolSmart.

SolSmart is led by the International City/County Management Association and The Solar Foundation. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More information on SolSmart is available at solsmart.org.

Image by Sebastian Ganso from Pixabay

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