Economic Development & Planning Toolkit

Solar/Green Initiatives

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.

Model Zoning for the Regulation of Solar Energy Systems1 Department of Energy Resources Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs December 2014

City of Methuen Ordinance for Large Scale Ground Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations

Town of Salisbury Bylaw for Large Scale Ground Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations

Town of Concord Bylaw for Large Scale Ground Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations

Green Communities Designation, Grants and Criterion

map-summary-green-communities 1

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:

DOER Contract with Town of Andover

Town of Tewksbury

Criterion 1

Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research & development, or manufacturing facilities.

Town of Tewksbury as of right siting and expedited permitting

Criterion 2

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]

Criterion 3

Establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years.

Town of Halifax electrical energy saving improvements

Town of Andover’s 2015 Successful Green Communities Competitive Grant – Building Envelope, Controls, LED Lighting and Controls, and Pumps, Motors and Drives

Criterion 4

Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles.

Town of Tewksbury School Vehicles

Town of Tewksbury Town Vehicles

Criterion 5

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.

Town of Tewksbury Stretch Code Adoption

Halifax as of rite siting and stretch code

Halifax Town Meeting Vote

General Resources

How to Become A Green Community

Department of Energy Resources 2015 Successful Grant Awardees and Summary of Projects

Town of Andover’s 2012 Successful Green Communities Competitive Grant – Building Efficiency Project



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