“Solar energy is being embraced nationwide at a pace we once thought to be impossible, and America’s cities are at the forefront of this progress,” said Ben Sonnega, Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Go Solar campaign associate. “Local officials are unlocking the power of the sun by taking advantage of millions of available rooftops and broad public support to bring cleaner, greener and more resilient energy to their communities.”
Mayors involved in this effort are not only signing on to this letter, but are also speaking publicly about the importance of solar power. For example, Orlando, Florida, Mayor Buddy Dyer, said, “Solar energy presents a bright opportunity for our city to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improve air quality and public health. It also helps diversify our local economy, create quality jobs in the green industry, and address one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity -- the climate change crisis.''
"I see tremendous interest in the potential of solar energy meeting our sustainability goals and energy needs,” said Rockford, Illinois, Mayor Tom McNamara. “With that in mind, we’ve embraced the opportunity to review our processes and streamline solar permitting.”
For its efforts, Rockford has earned a Gold Solsmart designation, which is awarded to cities, counties and regional organizations that make it faster, easier and more affordable to go solar.
Clarkston, Georgia, Mayor Ted Terry pointed out the importance of working locally to protect the health of all residents.
"In Clarkston, we are committed to transitioning our city to a 100 percent clean energy future," Terry said. "Solar energy gives us the type of clean renewable power that can free Georgia residents from dirty, polluting energy sources of the past and improve the resilience of our grid.”
The Mayors for Solar Energy project goes beyond the letter itself. It also includes resources such as the Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar policy toolkit and webinar trainings to help cities adopt more renewable energy.