Solar Energy and Land-Use Regulation

Zoning Practice — November 2010

By Brian Ross, AICP, Suzanne Rhees, AICP


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This article provides an update on the ongoing Solar America Cities (SAC) program and shares how SAC cities have made code changes in response to the program’s call to identify and remove barriers to the use of solar energy in urban areas.


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Date Published
Nov. 1, 2010
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Brian Ross, AICP
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 initiatives. He works across the Midwest and nationally with local and regional governments to develop “solar-ready” policies and regulatory standards, currently managing a cohort of 43 communities seeking to achieve national SolSmart designation. He also leads GPI’s local and regional government technical assistance programs to implement sustainable practices for clean and resilient energy development and climate protection. Brian works on the MN Solar Pathways project, a 3-year initiative to model and evaluate solar deployment strategies to achieve a high-renewable future in Minnesota, and manages Minnesota's "solar+EV" initiative with NREL's Solar Energy Innovation Network. Brian has also worked extensively in energy and utility regulation, serving as an expert witness in cost of service and rate design, energy efficiency and renewable energy, fuel cost reconciliations, and integrated resource planning.

Suzanne Rhees, AICP