Miami-Dade County goes for ‘Gold’ to speed up permitting process, joins Orange County

By Ben Delman on September 11, 2018

Last week, Miami-Dade County Commissioners passed a resolution to expedite the county’s residential solar permitting process. The passage means Miami-Dade County will strive to adopt the “Gold” solar permitting guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Energy. This victory comes thanks to the hundreds of solar supporters across the county who contacted their Commissioners, urging them to make going solar easier. Further north, Orange County has recently adopted Gold standards to its solar permitting process.

The Gold designation requires a streamlined permitting pathway for small solar systems with a turn-around of no more than three days.

The resolution was sponsored by County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and co-sponsored by County Commissioner Xavier Suarez. “I look forward to Miami-Dade becoming an even more welcoming place for solar energy development,” said Commissioner Cava upon the resolutions passage.  “Solar is a critical component of our climate resilience efforts and key to Miami becoming a leader in solar jobs in Florida.  By seeking SolSmart ‘Gold’ status, it shows that we’re serious about putting sunshine to work in the Sunshine State.”

Representing more than 800 co-op participants and 400 plus volunteers, Solar United Neighbors South Florida Program Coordinator Jody Finver said, “We are excited to see Miami-Dade step up and commit to improving its solar permitting process. This effort will help make solar more accessible and grow the industry within the County. We look forward to Miami-Dade County being the first South Florida County to obtain SolSmart’s Gold permitting status,”

The next step for Miami-Dade County is to develop a report within the next three months. The report will detail the County’s current solar permitting process and identify what it needs to do in order to achieve Gold certification.

Solar permitting is under the jurisdiction of municipalities in Miami-Dade County, so this resolution will only impact homeowners who live in the unincorporated areas of the county. Currently, South Miami and Miami Beach are at the Bronze level. Pinecrest has achieved Silver status. A SolSmart Advisor is to be placed with the South Florida Regional Council this fall, which will encourage more cities to improve their processes and make obtainable solar easier for homeowners.