Planning for Solar Development in the Future Energy Jobs Bill Era
Friday, September 15, 2017
10:45 a.m. - noon CDT
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The passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill is projected to spur rapid solar development within Illinois over the next decade. The Bill’s update of the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and its solar-specific requirements are expected to drive growth in the solar industry statewide. Solar installations have the potential to proliferate in all types of communities – from urban centers to agriculturally focused rural areas. As solar development grows within Illinois, planners need to understand how best to incorporate it into their communities.
Solar development is no different than other types of residential, commercial, or industrial development. As such, planners must take thoughtful and logical approaches to integrate solar development into their communities. Representatives from SolSmart, a national solar designation and technical assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and allied organizations will help to facilitate this through a panel consisting of:
• A SolSmart representative to moderate the panel and provide brief remarks about the program
• A panelist who has worked on a municipal planning staff/commission
• A panelist who has worked on local planning issues with many communities throughout Illinois
• A panelist who has experience with solar development
The panel will discuss how planners can best engage residents and businesses in conversations on solar energy. Panelists will focus on solar energy as a local resource that is tied to local economic benefits and growth. The panel will also present best-practice considerations for incorporating solar into local ordinances and planning documents, as well as ways to encourage solar through development regulations.
To ensure that planners have access to resources beyond the scope of the panel, the SolSmart representative will provide a brief overview of the program and the no-cost technical assistance opportunities it provides to local governments, specifically planning departments.
Brian Ross, AICP
Megan Day, AICP
Trevor Dick, email@example.com