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County earns SolSmart "silver" for solar energy

Sarasota County earns SolSmart "silver" honor for advancing solar energy growth

Post Date:07/22/2020 8:00 AM

Sarasota 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.

The designation from SolSmart, a federally funded non-profit and government partnership, recognizes Sarasota County for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.

solar panel installation at extension office in twin lakes park

Workers install solar panels to the roof of the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office. [CREDIT: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County]

"Sarasota County is honored to receive an award that shows our commitment to renewable solar energy for our community," said Sara Kane, sustainability program supervisor with Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability. "Supporting solar growth is important to our sustainability goals and commitments."

Sarasota County has committed to solar power expansion, implementing programs and policies that educate on the technology and grow this cost saving and emission reducing clean energy source. Encouraging local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity through solar also can support local solar companies, driving economic development and creating jobs.

SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action earn either gold, silver, or bronze designation.

Sarasota County scored high marks for permitting, planning, zoning and community education processes related to solar energy adoption, showing an overall commitment to reducing soft costs and barriers to solar adoption. SolSmart also noted the County's community engagement and its array of solar training events (including those offered by Sarasota County Extension:

SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 370 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

For more information about solar energy adoption, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.