(Michigan City, IN) - Michigan City has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.
This designation recognizes Michigan City for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Michigan City is “open for solar business.”
To receive designation, cities and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting and inspection processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in community engagement, government operations, and solar market development.
Actions Michigan City took to achieve SolSmart Silver Designation included installing solar panels on four municipal properties, supporting home and small business solar panel installations in partnership with Solar United Neighbors Indiana, coordinating with organizations to train individuals in certified solar array installation via Soul Power, and establishing a link on the Michigan City Sustainability Commission website page entitled "Getting Started with Solar".
SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
More than 450 municipalities, counties, and regional organizations have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
Nancy Moldenhauer, Michigan City Sustainability Commission Chair, said the SolSmart Silver Designation places the community in the same category as Gary and Zionsville, the only other new designees from Indiana and provides nationwide recognition for the efforts.
As a SolSmart designee, officials said Michigan City is helping solar companies reduce the cost of installations and pass those savings on to consumers. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable, clean, and reliable electricity through solar.
The actions Michigan City has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs, officials said.