Montgomery County Solar Information
Montgomery County is a leader in promoting solar energy installations and the regulatory best practices that make those installations safer and easier to install. As of January 2019 Montgomery County had 1865 solar energy systems installed that generate 23.2 megawatts of electricity. The Montgomery County Planning Commission is working with municipalities, organizations, and residents to make solar projects safer, easier, and a good fit for every community.
In 2019, Montgomery County is working to achieve SolSmart designation from The Solar Foundation. SolSmart is a national designation program that provides a framework for municipalities and counties to reduce soft costs and take action to become more supportive of solar PV in their communities. Visit www.solsmart.org to learn more about the program. Local governments that achieve the appropriate actions under SolSmart become designated as "solar friendly". To date, more than 17 local governments in the region have worked to achieve SolSmart designation. Four municipalities in Montgomery County (Pottstown Borough, Cheltenham Township, Upper Merion Township, and Lower Merion Township) have already achieved designation. More information on the steps that these municipalities have taken to achieve designation can be found on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Solar Landing Page.
The links below highlight a number of resources for municipalities and stakeholders to promote solar and the development of regulations for solar energy projects:
In 2016 The Montgomery County Planning Commission hosted a public educational workshop titled Municipal Tools for Enabling Solar Energy Use and Promoting Energy Efficiency as part of our Planning Smarter series. This poster serves as a snapshot of the solar landscape in Montgomery County at that time. Visit www.montcopa.org/PlanningSmarter for information about upcoming Planning Smarter events.
MCPC helped create the Solar Renewable Energy Ordinance Frameworks, launched by DVRPC in January 2013. The frameworks were produced to aid municipal governments in the development of renewable energy ordinances for solar, small-wind, and geothermal energy systems.
Renewable Energy: a series on alternative energy sources is an important solar educational tool for municipalities, the planning and development community, and citizens. This series focuses on solar applications, the associated benefits and considerations, and the regulatory concerns for a municipality.
The Field Inspection Checklist for Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems was developed in collaboration with DVRPC, the Camden County Office of Sustainability, the Department of Energy, and with input from municipalities throughout the region. This checklist was developed to assist in‐house and hired municipal inspectors with field inspections of residential rooftop PV systems in the Delaware Valley Region. The checklist may also be a helpful resource for solar PV installers as an additional reminder of the inspection requirements that must be met for their systems. The checklist was developed in 2019, and includes relevant code requirements from the 2014 NEC, the 2015 IBC and 2015 IRC.
Home builders who want to construct houses that are designed to ease the installation of solar photovoltaic systems (Solar Ready Homes) may use this checklist to ensure their houses are constructed to minimize modification to accommodate solar energy systems.
Promoting solar is an important part of a county or municipal sustainability process. Three Montgomery County municipalities have adopted sustainability plans that promote solar.
Montgomery County is also working to become more resilient and sustainable in our operations. The 2018 Sustainability Report highlights some of county’s accomplishments.
Project Sunroof is a U.S. Department of Energy-approved site that uses Google imagery to give businesses and homeowners an idea of their property’s solar potential.