Help to make Northwest Indiana solar ready!

2014-02-26T16:47:00Z Help to make Northwest Indiana solar ready!Contributed by Meredith Stilwell nwitimes.com
February 26, 2014 4:47 pm  • 

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) invites you to participate in a new regional initiative - the Solar Ready II Program. NIRPC has partnered with the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Meister Consultants Group, and South Shore Clean Cities (SSCC) to bring the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge to Northwest Indiana. Through this collaborative effort of local jurisdictions, utilities, industry representatives, and interested parties, NIRPC hopes to achieve more streamlined and standardized solar practices across the region, resulting in measurable improvements to the Northwest Indiana solar market.

Solar Ready II will provide NIRPC with a variety of tools, best practices, and resources to offer technical support, training, and other services to local governments to assist them in making their communities solar-ready.

Your participation in the NWI Solar Ready advisory group will help NIRPC to understand the state of the solar industry in Northwest Indiana and to select regional priorities from the available menu of tools and best practices. These priorities could range from planning and zoning, to permitting processes, to financial incentives.

We anticipate that this advisory group will meet collectively between one and three times during the spring on 2014 to determine the regional priorities and objectives. If multiple project priorities are identified, there may be opportunities to participate in additional meetings or conference calls focused on the areas of interest. Implementation of identified priorities and strategies will occur through the rest of 2014, and into March of 2015. If good progress is made, the US Department of Energy will extend the project through 2016.

We hope you will be able to participate in this important effort for our region. In order to schedule our initial meeting at the convenience of all, please click http://doodle.com/925w67gx59uhshye and complete the Doodle poll.

Goals for the kick-off meeting of the NWI Solar Ready Advisory Group will be:

• Understand the benefits and common challenges associated with implementation of rooftop solar energy

• Survey best practices to advance rooftop solar energy implementation

• Collaboratively identify which challenges are the most relevant in Northwest Indiana and prioritize practices for the regional focus

The first opportunity to learn more will be the SSCC Green Commuter Webinar February 28th at 1 pm CST. This webinar will feature NIRPC, and technical experts from Meister Associates providing a brief overview of opportunities and goals for the project.

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