Solar Photovoltaic Bylaws and Ordinances
Below please find some model/sample bylaws for reasonable standards to facilitate the development of solar energy systems. Each bylaw or ordinance, when drafted, should be evaluated and reviewed by each community’s town counsel or attorney to determine whether it accommodates small, medium and large-scale systems and/or as well as both groundmounted and roof-mounted installations.
Green Communities Designation, Grants and Criterion
The MA Department of Energy and Resources Green Communities Designation and Grant Program helps municipalities navigate and meet the five criteria required to become a Green Community, in turn qualifying them for grants that finance additional energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the local level.
There are FIVE Criterion to become a Green Community. Below we have listed each of the Criterion Required. We have also listed examples of communities who have successfully met this Criterion and what they have submitted. Finally, there is a listing of general information with links to resources on Green Communities.
A city or town must meet these five criteria to be designated a Green Community. For each criterion, we have provided examples of communities within the Commonwealth who have had each applicable section approved. In our region, Andover, Amesbury, West Newbury and Newburyport are Green Communities as of December 22, 2015.
Green Communities Designation Submittal Letters:
Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research & development, or manufacturing facilities.
Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities.
Town of Halifax letter from town counsel [meets both expedited application and permit process]
Establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years.
Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles.
Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction; one way to meet these requirements is to adopt the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code.