CITY OF HARTFORD RECOGNIZED AS A LEADER ON SOLAR ENERGY BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
HARTFORD, CONN. (SEPTEMBER 27, 2016) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that the City of Hartford is being recognized as a national leader by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for solar energy growth and advancement. Connecticut’s capital city is one of only 14 municipalities nationwide to receive a Gold designation from the DOE’s SolSmart program.
“We are thrilled that Hartford is being recognized for our hard work and commitment to increasing solar access for the entire community,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are excited about the new opportunities for solar expansion this Gold designation may afford us.”
SolSmart, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, is a national recognition and a no-cost technical assistance program for local governments designed to drive greater solar deployment. The program makes it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access affordable and renewable solar energy to meet their electricity needs. As part of the SolSmart program, all participating communities are eligible to request no-cost technical assistance from a team of national solar experts to help them achieve the designation.
“This designation highlights Hartford’s commitment to clean energy,” said Bryan Garcia, CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank and a member of the City’s Climate Stewardship Council. “We at the Green Bank have been proud to work hand in hand with the City on a variety of solar initiatives, and investors in the solar field should continue to see Hartford as a promising investment opportunity.”
“Making a commitment to solar energy on a municipal level is a huge step for Hartford,” said Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “This SolSmart Gold designation will help the City to achieve critical climate goals and to keep up its tremendous momentum in the area of sustainability.”
Several steps have been taken by Mayor Bronin and others to promote clean energy production and development in Hartford. In January 2016, the city’s zoning code was overhauled to allow for solar energy in all zoning districts. In the spring, PosiGen and the Connecticut Green Bank announced that its “Solar for All” program, bringing solar to low-income and moderate-income property owners, would be coming to Hartford. And recently, Hartford’s Court of Common Council passed an ordinance – submitted and signed by Mayor Bronin – that established an Energy Improvement District (EID), helping the city to manage local energy projects. Also, a Climate Stewardship Council was launched to undertake long-range planning for sustainable energy initiatives, including solar.
SolSmart is a national designation and technical support program that recognizes leading solar communities and empowers communities to expand their local solar markets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, SolSmart strives to cut red tape, drive greater solar deployment, and make it possible for even more American homes and businesses to access solar energy to meet their electricity needs. Learn more at SolSmart.org. The SolSmart designation team, led by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), evaluates communities and awards them points based on the actions they take to reduce soft costs and other barriers to solar. Communities that take sufficient action are designed either gold, silver, or bronze. The SolSmart technical assistance team is led by The Solar Foundation.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national collaborative effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.