Olympia receives award for solar campaign


Olympia received a "SolSmart Gold" designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, more accessible, and affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.

Climate Program manager Dr. Pamela Braff and 10-year-old climate volunteer Jackson Fox presented the designation at the Olympia City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 20.

The SolSmart program, which started in 2016, is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to Braff, the SolSmart program recognizes cities, counties, and regional organizations for addressing and reducing the barriers for the community to have easier and faster access to solar energy.

"The gold designation is the top award that you can get. I believed [Olympia] is the fourth city in the Washington State to achieve this SolSmart Gold designation," she said.


Braff said the city took about 30 to 40 actions to achieve the designation. She said, among the steps taken by Olympia, include:

  • Created a solar resource webpage with answers to frequently asked questions. It includes information on the benefits of going solar, incentives, permit processes, and local installers.
  • Streamlined the solar permit process.

Braff said the city took steps this year to accelerate the application process. "It is a single-permit application for a single inspection for most residential rooftop solar. You can get that reviewed within two days."

  • Reviewed local codes and identified restrictions that intentionally or unintentionally prohibit solar PV development
  • Supported a community-wide group purchase program and a solar community program, including the recent Solarize group-purchased campaign.

Braff also presented a Youtube video of a solar tour in the city, presented by Jackson Fox.


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Southsoundguy

    What is the solar actually achieving?

    Thursday, September 22, 2022 Report this

  • rubinken

    Miller 19- Are you serious? You don't understand what solar power is achieving? Jeez. What century are you living in?

    Thursday, September 22, 2022 Report this

  • WillRange

    So great to see local action! The other cities in the area need to step up their game!

    solar promotes energy independence (F*** OPEC), reduces utility costs, and reduces the emissions from Puget Sound Energy's dirty fuels!

    Thursday, October 6, 2022 Report this