Solar Guidance and Resources
Posted October 24, 2023
Interest in solar energy is growing due to increased demand for renewable energy, reduced costs, and increased incentives. To help advance the expansion of solar power in the county, the Chester County Planning Commission is providing several resources to reduce the barriers to going solar!
CCPC staff collected an inventory of each municipality's ordinances to understand whether the municipality regulates solar power either as an accessory use, a principal use (like a solar farm), or both. The inventory also compared municipal solar ordinances to established best practices. Municipalities can contact CCPC staff to discuss CCPC's solar ordinance inventory findings specific to their municipality.
As a follow-up to the inventory, CCPC is partnering with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County to provide an online training session for best practices for permitting and inspection for solar PV systems. This training is geared toward building code officials and municipal staff involved in issuing permits, and will be held on November 2 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
CCPC staff will be also host a lunch-and-learn webinar to share more details about its solar ordinance inventory, and to discuss best practices for regulating solar power through municipal zoning codes. This online training session will be held on November 29 from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Lastly, CCPC launched a solar webpage which compiles the most relevant information on regulating solar power for municipalities, as well as the steps for going solar for Chester County residents, businesses, or others looking to install solar power systems. The webpage also features an interactive map of solar installations throughout the county.
These initiatives support the county's pursuit to gain designation as a SolSmart Community through the US Department of Energy — a program designed to help local governments and regional organizations accelerate the growth of clean, affordable solar energy in their jurisdictions. It also supports the Connect goal in Landscapes3.