Solar Ready II

Solar Ready II SunShot

In October 2013 DVRPC became a partner, among a national team of regional planning organizations, on Solar Ready II, a project of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative's Rooftop Solar Challenge. The U.S. DOE launched the Rooftop Solar Challenge with the understanding that, with conventional energy prices fluctuating and the hardware costs of solar photovoltaic systems steadily declining, there is tremendous potential for solar PV to play an important role in the future of energy generation across the county. A key but not insurmountable challenge is the persistence of solar PV "soft costs", which include everything but the solar PV equipment itself. These soft costs—such as customer acquisition, permitting, inspection, installation, and connection to the electric grid—can account for up to 60 percent of the total installed cost of a rooftop PV system.

Through Solar Ready II, DVRPC will work collaboratively with municipalities, business, residents and utilities in Greater Philadelphia to understand and implement best management practices that help reduce the "soft costs" of solar PV installations. The goal of Solar Ready II is to create more streamlined and standardized solar practices throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, and to achieve measureable improvements in the region's solar market conditions.

Through collaboration with our region's stakeholders, DVRPC has identified the following "best management practices" aimed to reduce soft costs of solar PV adoption. DVRPC provides these resources that serve as tools for the regions municipalities as they develop zoning ordinances, update permitting processes, and educate residents and businesses on going solar. DVRPC, in collaboration with our county planning departments, also provides training and light one-on-one technical assistance free to interested municipalities. Please click here to learn more:

Solar Ready II Resources:

  1. Solar Renewable Energy Ordinance Framework: A resource for municipalities as they develop and update ordinances to govern the siting of small-scale renewable energy systems in their communities. This document is currently a working draft that will be updated over time, and is part of DVRPC's Renewable Energy Ordinance Framework series.
  2. Adopt Standardized and Streamline Permitting Practices: DVRPC is working with municipalities to develop a standardized and streamlined permit and inspection process for small scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Greater Philadelphia. A working draft of the permitting guide is available for download on the permitting page.
  3. Solar Ready Training Materials: The Solar Ready Training Materials are available to those who wish to further the understanding of solar photovoltaics (PV) in their communities. Training materials are provided for a variety of topic areas (e.g. Solar 101, Zoning, Historic Preservation).

How can I be involved?

Municipalities who take part in the program will have access to specialized training and technical assistance on how to become "solar ready." If you are interested in learning more, please contact Liz Compitello at 215.238.2897 or

Solar Ready II Webinar on Permitting and Zoning Best Practices for Solar PV

Thursday, February 11th webinar

DVRPC and the Delaware County Planning Department for a webinar on Solar PV best practices for permitting and zoning.

Solar Ready II Permitting and Zoning Best Practices Training

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

This training covered the benefits of implementing standardized and streamlined permitting and zoning practices, and ways to incorporate these best practices into existing municipal regulations.

  • Presentation: Permitting Best Practices - Introduction [0.7 MB pdf] (Includes an overview of Solar Ready II, and an introduction to the Permitting and Zoning resources available through the program.
  • Presentation: Permitting and Inspection Best Practices [6.9 MB pdf] (Includes an overview of national solar market trends, permitting best practices, and a review of DVRPC's draft permitting guide materials.
  • Presentation: Zoning and Planning Best Practices [4.5 MB pdf] (Includes an overview of solar technology, the local government visioning and goal setting process, best practices for zoning for solar, DVRPC's draft solar Renewable Energy Ordinance Framework, considerations of solar in the municipal planning and regulatory process.

Past Solar Ready II Stakeholder Meetings

Third Stakeholder Meeting, October 8, 2014, DVRPC

  • Presentation: Solar Ready II Stakeholder Meeting [2.1 MB pdf] (Includes an overview of the best management practices targeted through this program, including Permitting, Zoning, and Training Materials.

Second Solar Ready II Stakeholder Meeting, June 18, 2014, DVRPC

  • Presentation: Solar Ready II Stakeholder Meeting [3.6 MB pdf] (Includes an overview of Solar Ready II, a summary of installer and municipal survey responses, a discussion of potential Best Management Practices for the Greater Philadelphia region, and a description of next steps for the project.)

Initial Stakeholder Kickoff Meeting, March 4, 2014, DVRPC

  • Presentation: Solar Ready II Introductory Stakeholder Meeting  [1.8 MB pdf] (Includes an introduction to Solar Ready II, an overview of solar market conditions and existing best management practices, and an initial identification of project objectives and outcomes.)


Rooftop Solar Challenge Solar Ready II: Learn more about the national Solar Ready II team, led by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Meister Consultants Group, Inc., and Council of State Governments, and about the nine other regional planning organizations participating in Solar Ready II.

U.S. DOE's SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership: The U.S. DOE is working to increase the use and integration of solar energy technologies (through outreach and technical assistance), and to expand local and regional governments' innovative efforts to accelerate local adoption of solar energy in their own facilities and community-wide.