Coon Rapids received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. The City is committed to removing obstacles to solar development. A SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Coon Rapids is "open for solar business."
"SolSmart is a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy, which certifies communities for following best practices for solar energy systems," said Olivia Dorow Hovland, the City’s sustainability planner. “The City of Coon Rapids wants to make it as simple as possible for people to install solar, if they decide it’s something they want to do."
The City updated its solar energy ordinance and improved its permit process in 2021. The goal is to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system in Coon Rapids. Staff also launched an online solar energy hub to help visitors navigate solar energy options, find a contractor and access available tax credits and financing.
Nearly 50 properties currently have solar installations in Coon Rapids. The City’s commitment to sustainability will help more local homes and businesses obtain affordable, clean and reliable electricity through solar. It also encourages solar companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs.
Coon Rapids is proud to be the first SolSmart city in Anoka County. The Energy Department recognized Coon Rapids for these actions in a new blog post, which challenges 60 new communities to achieve SolSmart designation by March 2022. SolSmart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the International City/County Management Association, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. Learn more at coonrapidsmn.gov/solarenergy.