The OKI Regional Council of Governments has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program. This comes following local governments’ efforts to make it faster, easier and more affordable to use solar energy, according to a statement released from OKI.
“We are proud to recognize OKI as the first regional organization in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana to achieve SolSmart designation,” says Theresa Perry, Program Director at The Solar Foundation. “The Council of Governments is leading the OKI region to a clean energy future by providing education, technical assistance, and coordination. We encourage cities and counties in their region to work with OKI and the SolSmart program to achieve their clean energy goals.”
Greater Cincinnati has been trying to make solar energy more accessible for many years now.
“OKI is honored and excited to receive the SolSmart Silver designation,” OKI CEO Mark Policinski says in the same release. “Our agency has worked with our member governments over the past few years to develop resources and provide training to increase deployment of solar energy systems in the Greater Cincinnati area.”
The Silver designation recognizes that OKI has helped area communities remove obstacles to solar energy growth. Some of these efforts have included encouraging solar-ready design, working with local utilities to provide interactive solar mapping tools and finding funding options through local financial institutions.
The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association leads SolSmart. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and provides no-cost assistance to encourage solar energy development.
According to a report from Smart Energy International, use of solar energy was expected to grow 20 percent in 2020, with California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and New York leading the pack in demand. This has cemented the United States as the world’s second-largest market for solar energy.
More than 390 municipalities, counties, and regional organizations have achieved designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze since the program launched in 2016, according to a statement released by OKI.
Now, OKI plans to help more communities achieve the Silver designation. Municipalities or counties interested in technical assistance on solar energy may contact Andy Meyer at [email protected] or 513-619-7705.