Solar Planning and Zoning: From the Rooftop to the Solar Farm

APA Sustainable Comm. Division


Tuesday, February 27, 2018
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST

CM | 1.50

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Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry with over one million installations nationwide and over 260,000 domestic solar energy jobs. Municipalities and counties are increasingly faced with the need to address solar development as development costs decline and technologies for capturing solar energy value evolve.

The webinar will present best-practice guidance and real-life experiences to help planners integrate solar development into their communities. Megan Day, AICP, a renewable energy planner from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Brian Ross, AICP, Senior Program Director at Great Plains Institute, will provide an overview of planning and zoning best practices to help planners take thoughtful approaches to integrating solar into local plans and ordinances. The discussion will specifically cover addressing solar energy at both the large and small scale, and discuss perceived and real issues with solar development, such as glare, aesthetics, fire safety, and land use opportunity costs. James Schroll, an Arlington County Planning Commissioner who helps manage technical assistance to local governments through the national SolSmart certification program, will provide an overview of the SolSmart program, which provides no-cost technical assistance opportunities to local governments, specifically planning departments.

Attendees will learn about:


  • Plan-level policy issues that planners should be prepared to address as the solar development market grows and evolves.
  • The most recent national zoning best practices for different types of solar development.
  • Examples of zoning dilemmas and successes from communities in different states.
  • National SolSmart local government certification program and the technical assistance available to planners across the nation.
  • Resources and models available to planners across the country for addressing solar development in their community.’

Resource URL


James Schroll

Confirmed Speaker

James Schroll is a Project Manager for The Solar Foundation’s SolSmart program. Prior to joining The Solar Foundation, he worked for both the Office of Government Relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Education and Labor. The Arlington ... Read More

Megan Day, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Megan Day is a renewable energy planner at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She serves as the lab?s subject matter expert on city energy planning and large-scale photovoltaic development. Megan manages the Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project, which provides energy data and analysis to cities ... Read More

Brian Ross, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Brian Ross has 25 years of experience working on local sustainability and clean energy topics, including local government policy and regulation, state policy and rules, and energy utility regulation. Brian currently leads the Great Plains Institute’s solar energy market transformation working across the Midwest and nationally helping local and ... Read More

Contact Info

Jennifer Koch,