Branford Designated ‘SolSmart Silver’ for Advancing Solar Energy Growth
Press Release, Town of Branford
In March, Branford received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This designation recognizes Branford for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.
For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Branford is “open for solar business.” The Silver designation follows Branford’s Bronze award in 2021.
“This accomplishment was a team effort of the Branford Clean Energy Committee and town offices working together to encourage solar energy in Branford. Solar energy will help move Branford to a greener, more resilient, and money-saving infrastructure while contributing to Connecticut’s goal of 100% renewable-sourced electricity by 2040,” commented First Selectman Cosgrove.
Clean Energy Committee Member Dan Rabin elaborated: “We are very grateful to Building Official Anthony Cinicola for overseeing solar training in his department and Town Planner Harry Smith for helping the Clean Energy Committee develop changes to Planning and Zoning regulations that specify the rules for small and large solar installation in Branford.”
Theresa Perry, SolSmart Program Director at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), said “Branford’s hard work has resulted in clear progress on expanding access to solar energy. We are delighted to award the community with a SolSmart Silver designation.”
Branford and the solar company Posigen ran the Solar for All campaign in 2022 that brought low-cost solar options to town residents. Additionally, Branford has been selected to participate in PowerSmart, a state-wide program to encourage solar and batteries for residential customers. The Clean Energy Committee is working on the final requirements to achieve SolSmart Gold designation.
SolSmart is led by IREC and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. To receive designation, 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 actions Branford has taken will help encourage solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs. Nearly 500 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.