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Solar Development

The Capital Area RPC is a SolSmart Bronze region! We achieved this designation through a partnership with the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change and several municipalities. The steps we took to earn a SolSmart designation build on our other climate resilience efforts and help support Dane County’s goal of meeting one-third of electricity use with solar by 2030.

Solar Goals

As outlined in our 2023 Regional Solar Statement, CARPC’s goals for engaging in the SolSmart process were to: 

    • Work with communities to identify regional priorities, preferences, and best practices for solar development, emphasizing equitable access to solar benefits. 

    • Support Dane County communities in attaining local SolSmart designation. 

    • Identify barriers to PV installation in local zoning codes and, where present, recommend revisions to remove them. 

    • Support Dane County’s goal to meet one-third of electricity use (1200 MW) with solar by 2030. 

Tools & Educational Materials

This page is designed to connect capital region municipalities with resources and information on local solar development. For additional information geared toward homeowners and other groups, visit the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change’s Solar Energy Resources page.

General Resources

Wisconsin Local Government Climate Coalition 

RENEW Wisconsin

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Urban Sustainability Directors Network 

Local Government Toolkits

Wisconsin Local Government Solar Toolkit (2017) 
Information on local planning, zoning, and permitting for solar development from the Great Plains Institute. Includes a state solar policy summary, guide for updating local land use plans, model ordinances, and a local government permitting checklist. 

Wisconsin Clean Energy Toolkit (2020) 
Resource for developing a community clean energy plan produced through a coalition effort led by Sierra Club, RENEW Wisconsin and Wisconsin Conservation Voters. Includes information on reducing solar soft costs and financing solar projects. 

Solar@Scale Guidebook (2022) 
Detailed local government guidebook for improving large-scale solar development outcomes. Produced through a partnership between the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and American Planning Association (APA). 






Coming soon!

Resources for Solar Development

Coming soon!