White Paper

3 Pages
  • 3 Pages

Solar Energy & Communities


Unlocking economic benefits by putting a value on solar resources.

Considering solar energy as a financial and critical resource like how other development resources are looked at would help local governments establish pro-development policy and, in turn, capture local economic benefit. This white paper reviews how important solar energy can be for your community when looked at in the right light.



Brian Ross, AICP, LEED GA

Brian Ross, AICP, LEED GA

Great Plains Institute

  • Program director at the Great Plains Institute, manages renewable energy technical assistance, assisted dozens of local governments across multiple states on zoning, programs, from Colorado to Illinois
  • 25 years of direct experience in local and regional land use planning, managed dozens of comprehensive plans and zoning updates for cities across the Midwest
  • Co-author of the American Planning Association’s Planning for Solar Energy PAS Report
  • Authored Local Government Solar Energy Toolkits for four states (MN, IL, WI, IA), including model solar ordinances tailored to each state’s statutory enabling language
  • SolSmart National Criteria Advisory Committee, developing the best practice criteria for this national solar-ready certification program for local governments
  • Project leader for a national Solar Energy Innovation Network team, working with the National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Conducts national trainings and webinars on solar planning and zoning; multiple trainings at APA’s National Planning Conference, multiple State APA conferences, Solar Power International, Smart Growth Network, National SolSmart webinar trainings, Sustainable States Network
  • M.A. degree in urban and regional planning, University of Iowa
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 612-767-7296

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