San Antonio designated as an “open for solar business” city

San Antonio’s growing solar power industry got another pat on the back.

The Washington, D.C.-based group SolSmart designated the San Antonio as an “open for solar business” city in a report released earlier this week.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative, SolSmart evaluates cities based on how local programs and practices — such as permitting, planning and zoning — reduce obstacles to adopting solar energy. The group has three designations: gold, silver and bronze.

Led by the International City/County Management Association, the SolSmart designation team awards communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development.

So far, group has designated 58 cities across the United States as “open for solar business.” San Antonio was in the bronze category based on the city’s on-line permitting process, solar panels installed on public facilities and a rebate program run by municipally owned utility company CPS Energy.

Elsewhere in the Lone Star State, SolSmart designated Austin and Dallas as gold cities, while El Paso shared a bronze designation with San Antonio.

Solar Foundation President and Executive Director Andrea Luecke said San Antonio and other cities demonstrated national leadership by making it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar.

“These cities and counties are installing new solar capacity, reducing interconnection times, streamlining permitting requirements, and reducing the cost of solar for homes and businesses, opening the door to tremendous job growth and economic expansion,” Luecke said.