Solar Permitting & Zoning

Solar-friendly Permitting and Zoning was a component of the first two rounds of Solarize Westchester, 2014-2016. It was completed in 2016 and is not a portion of the current Solarize Westchester program. However, the resource guide developed through the program is still available–see below.

Solarize Westchester’s Solar-friendly Permitting and Zoning effort was designed to support municipalities in adopting solar-friendly practices. The adoption of solar best practices will help municipalities streamline their process, reducing municipal cost, while ensuring a focus on safety. In addition, this effort will reduce “soft” costs of solar installations, helping to bring down the cost of solar installations around Westchester County.

The Barrier Removal for Solar Permitting Resource Guide, developed through Solarize Westchester, is now available for download (click here). The Guide was created to help municipalities identify and minimize barriers to facilitate small-scale, roof-mounted solar electric systems. For each barrier, the Guide asks a municipality to determine whether the barrier exists in its jurisdiction, defines the barrier, describes implementation strategies to remove the barrier, and offers best practice examples showing how other municipalities have successfully removed the barrier.

As part of the Solarize Westchester program, Croton Energy Group (a member of the Solarize Westchester team) surveyed each Westchester municipality about its current practices related to solar installations. With municipal approval, this information is being provided to the Solar Road Map, a web-based platform to enable solar installers and other interested people to easily understand key requirements of each participating municipality. Croton Energy Group will also encourage adoption of New York State’s recommended permit for roof-mounted solar installations up to 12 kW in size, the New York State Unified Solar Permit. Solarize Westchester has established a goal of a minimum of 30 municipalities adopting this permit. Municipalities that adopt the permit are currently eligible to receive incentive funding ($2,500 or $5,000 depending on community size) through the Cleaner Greener Communities program.

Westchester County’s cities, towns and villages are well represented on the Solar Road Map, http://my.solarroadmap.com/ahj/westchester-county/view,  which tracks local solar permitting and zoning procedures around the country.

For more information about Solarize Westchester’s Solar-friendly Permitting and Zoning efforts, please contact Leo Wiegman of Croton Energy Group at: lwiegman@crotonenergy.com.