Solar Express Rolls Through Chicago
The City of Chicago launched Chicago Solar Express, a streamlined permitting, zoning and interconnection process for those seeking to place solar installations on residential and commercial properties. The project aims to slash wait times for solar permits for small installations from 30 days to one day, cut fees by 25 percent and simplify and streamline key processes.
The reforms are made possible with the assistance of a $750,000 SunShot grant received from the Department of Energy (DOE) as part its SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge.
In addition to cutting the permitting process from 30 days to one day, the fee schedule decreased from $375 to $275, a 25 percent reduction. Chicago’s Department of Buildings has published new guidelines, outlining clear steps for general contractors to follow for designing both small and large systems to city standards, making requirements clearer. For large rooftop solar arrays, the new guidelines update structural design requirements to recognize improvements in the design of ballasted systems over recent years.
Other reforms include simplifying the zoning process by providing policy interpretation and design guidance for all solar types in all sectors and streamlining the process for connecting solar panels to the electric grid.
The Online Interconnection and Net Metering Enrollment, a tool to be launched by ComEd by year-end, will allow applicants to submit, track, and pay for applications through an online platform. This will enable applicants to connect their solar generator to the grid and receive credit on their bills for producing their own electricity.
Finally, the new policy introduces flexibility for projects covered by the Sustainable Development Policy, a set of requirements for large developments going through the planned development process or receiving city financial assistance. Launched in 2004, the Sustainable Development Policy requires large developments to install vegetated green roofs and pursue LEED certification. Under the updated policy, these projects can swap a portion of their green roof requirement for solar panels.
To make access to solar for Chicagoans as easy as possible, the city has launched a new website for solar, with a step-by-step process for getting rooftop solar approved, installed, and connected.
The National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) empowers corporate leaders to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces, and promote global sustainability. In their inaugural trends report, Planning for a Sustainable Future, the NAEM has identified the trends that will shape EHS & Sustainability management in the year to come. As a sponsor of the report, Dakota Software is pleased to provide this complimentary copy. Click to learn more.
- Existing Building Technologies Combine for Increased Savings
- The Future of Operational Risk Management: The Oil & Gas and Chemicals Approach
- Smart Companies Utilize Integrated Energy Solutions
- 2014 Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards
- Improve Your Company's Environment and Energy Performance
- Energy Financing Report
- Unlocking the Value of Energy & Operational Data
- Let's Do The Math for DR
- Increase the Value of Demand Response Through Automation
- How "Fixed" is the Fixed Price Product?
- Cut Costs and Improve Facility Operations with Energy Data
- Energy Procurement Strategies for Winter 2014 and 2015
- Energy Efficiency Requires Engineering Efficiency
- Integrated Building Optimization: A Crucial Convergence of Demand-side and Supply-Side Energy Management Strategies
- Driving Productivity and Profit with Industrial Energy Management