Originally published on the ECOreport
Only 32-64 of California’s 472 jurisdictions may be ready when AB 2188, which streamlines the state’s solar permitting process, goes into effect in seven days. Marcus Gilmore, SunShot Project Manager at the Center for Sustainable Energy’s (CSE), stressed the fact that they do not know if 86% of the state’s jurisdiction will be ready. Some have said they cannot make the deadline. Most have not given any indication. The possible consequences, for those that fail to meet this deadline, include being declared ineligible to receive funding from state-sponsored solar grants or loan programs. A more likely outcome is that delinquent municipalities can expect complaints from irate solar contractors. Jurisdictions preparing for AB 2188 deadline should go to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) website.
“We have a number of resources from technical assistance, at no cost, to a number of standardized permitting forms and implementation documents that jurisdictions can adopt to comply with the state’s mandate. These documents are free on our website,” Gilmore said.
The County of Los Angeles is now compliant because it adopted the standardized toolkit documents and put its logo on them. (Access that document here)
“We worked with the University of San Diego Energy Policy Initiatives Center to draft a model ordinance. More than half of the jurisdictions that have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, an ordinance used this model ordinance,” Gilmore said. (Access it here)
“If a jurisdiction wants to adopt the toolkit documents as is, and just place it on their website, that’s terrific. For jurisdictions that want to make modifications, we offer Word versions of the documents. We also have a code and standards specialist who is a former municipal chief electrical inspector available full time to provide assistance to local governments at no cost,” said Gilmore.
CSE has prepared a statewide map of which jurisdictions are ready (green), those known to be adopting ordinances (yellow or orange) and those whose state of preparedness is unknown (red). You can access it, to check on your municipality, by clicking on the screenshot to the left.
“We are planning on updating the map a few times every week,” said Gilmore.
He added, “We are aware that many jurisdictions are scrambling. We’re seeing a huge surge of interest in a webinar that we are having on September 30.”
CSE is offering a webinar for city managers and officials to discuss AB 2188 and resources for meeting compliance at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. For information, visit www.energycenter.org/ab2188-webinar.
“The good news is that jurisdictions are making aggressive efforts to comply by September 30 or as soon as possible,” said Gilmore.
California passed AB 2188, which calls for a more simplified solar permitting process, on August 20, 2014. Prior to that every jurisdiction had its own code and the cost of permitting, inspections and interconnection could run anywhere from $1,100 to $2,500. Consequently, many installers avoid cities where there is a lot of red tape.
Top photo Credit: Solar Power International’s panel on AB 2188, at Anaheim Convention Center: (l to r) Jeff Spies, Sr. Director of Policy, Quick Mount PV (moderator); Hector Bordas, Division Head, Building and Safety Division, LA County Dept. of Public Works; Mostafa Kashe, Chief Electrical Inspector, LA County Dept. of Public Works; Marcus Gilmore, Project Manager, SunShot, Center for Sustainable Energy
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