The Town of Warwick and New York City have been recognized as the only communities in New York State to receive the SolSmart Gold designation for removing obstacles to solar energy development. SolSmart Gold, the highest designation, includes creating an online permitting checklist, reviewing local zoning codes, allowing solar by-right accessory use, cross-training inspection and permitting staff on solar PV, and providing a streamlined permitting pathway for small PV systems.
In addition, the Town of Warwick received recognition for reviewing the permitting process and ensuring processing time is under three days, training safety staff on solar PV, and developing a regular communication schedule to solicit recommendations from the solar installer community regarding procedural changes.
The SolSmart program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy, is designed to help local governments bring new business to their community, promote economic growth and foster the creation of new jobs. The goal is to make it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar. The SolSmart Gold designation recognizes that the Town of Warwick is a great place for solar companies to do business. Working with David Katz, a solar ombudsman with Sustainable CUNY, the Town has demonstrated that once again they are a leader in the Hudson Valley in the field of sustainable energy.
Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton said, “The Town Board, as well as our Building Department and Planning Board, has worked hard to ensure our Town codes encourage responsible solar development throughout the Town and make it easy for residents to invest in renewable energy. We are proud to recognized as only the second community in New York to receive SolSmart Gold.”