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Altavista Designated “SolSmart Bronze” for Advancing Solar Energy Growth

Issued August 6, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Sharon D. Williams, AICP
Community Development
Director Town of Altavista, VA
(434) 369-5001

Altavista is receiving a Bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.

This designation recognizes Altavista for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Altavista is “open for solar business.”

SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 370 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

As a key part of its environmental, sustainability and climate commitments, Altavista is always seeking ways to encourage installation of solar in our community.

As a SolSmart designee, Altavista is helping solar companies greatly 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 Altavista has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.

To receive designation, towns, 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 processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.

The Town of Altavista achieved this designation by having staff trained on best practices for permitting solar PV and/or solar and storage systems. The town’s website was updated to provide citizens and business owners information on the benefits of solar systems, tax incentives and job training/educational opportunities, which can be accessed HERE. SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver, or bronze.

As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities achieve designation. All municipalities, counties, and regional organizations are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.

Waverly Coggsdale, III
Town Manager