A building in Perry is solar-powered

Special to the Perry Chief
A building in Perry is solar-powered

A Perry building now uses solar energy developed locally.

The Perry Marketplace building joined nearly 30 cities and counties, nationwide, in Solsmart, a national program to encourage solar energy developed locally.

The program will provide official recognition to cities and counties for making solar more affordable and accessible in the community.

Perry is among the nation’s first participants in the SolSmart program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, a press release stated.

The goal is for Perry to soon receive a national SolSmart designation at the level of Bronze, Silver, or Gold, showing the community has taken key steps to encourage solar energy development.

“As a SolSmart Early Adopter, we look forward to making solar a more attractive and affordable option for homes and businesses,” said Sven Peterson, Perry City Administrator, in a press release. “The City has installed several kilowatts of photovoltaicsolar capacity on its Farmers’ Market Building at the Raccoon River Valley Trailhead complex. The City hopes this installation and the energy production data available serves as demonstration of the viability of solar in Perry.”

Peterson said that he hopes to gain jobs for people in Perry through SolSmart.

“Solar energy jobs are rapidly on the rise across the country, and we hope our participation in SolSmart will help attract some of these jobs right here in Perry,” he said.

To receive a SolSmart designation, communities must take action to reduce solar “soft costs,” which are non-hardware costs that can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system.

Examples of soft costs include planning and zoning; permitting, interconnection, and inspection; financing; customer acquisition; and installation labor.

Reducing these costs will lead to savings that are passed on to consumers.

Communities seeking designation are eligible to receive no-cost technical assistance from SolSmart experts.

They can also apply to host SolSmart Advisors, which will be fully funded temporary staff embedded in up to 40 communities to help each achieve designation.

SolSmart is providing the community no-cost technical assistance to reduce barriers to solarenergy growth in Perry.