Broadview, Northlake Achieve National Solar Energy Recognition

A home in Broadview with solar panels installed on the roof. Broadview was among 10 suburbs that achieved national recognition for encouraging the growth of solar energy. | File 

Saturday, March 19, 2022 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Two suburbs in Proviso Township are among 10 within the Chicago area that recently achieved national recognition for encouraging the growth of solar energy.

Broadview and Northlake both received a prestigious SolSmart designation, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that “helps local governments reduce barriers to solar energy use for homes and businesses,” according to a statement released by SolSmart and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

Broadview received a SolSmart Silver designation, which meant that it completed a variety of prerequisites, including providing solar-friendly permitting and inspection training for village staffers.

“Communities that implement permitting best practices provide solar developers and installers with a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective approval process,” according to SolSmart’s website.

Last month, Broadview’s board voted unanimously in favor of a solar energy ordinance that would establish local standards related to the installation of solar panels in the village.

Meanwhile, Northlake received a SolSmart Bronze designation, which means that the village completed a solar statement, a solar permitting checklist and a zoning review.

“In Northlake, we worked hard to ensure that our zoning ordinance did not restrict solar development ahead of private investments in clean energy,” Northlake Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin explained in the SolSmart statement. “In Illinois, there has been much progress on solar policy, and we don’t want to get in the way of future growth.”

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus was a local advisor for the SolSmart program, helping guide 35 communities to SolSmart designations in 2018 and 2019, Caucus officials explained in the statement.

All of the cohort members, including Broadview and Northlake, have signed the Greenest Region Compact, a guide for how local communities can confront climate change. Other suburbs in the Village Free Press readership area that have signed the Compact include Hillside and Westchester.

The 10 communities were recognized at a virtual event at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont on March 17.

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