FOR RELEASE: 05/03/2021
CONTACT: Jason Ludwigson: jludwigson@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov

La Crescent Designated “SolSmart Gold” for Advancing Solar Energy Growth
La Crescent, Minn. — The City of La Crescent is receiving a Gold designation from the national SolSmart
program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This
designation recognizes La Crescent for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove
obstacles to solar development. SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County
Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies
Office. More than 300 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program
launched in 2016.
Sustainability coordinator Jason Ludwigson noted that as a member of the Minnesota GreenStep city program
La Crescent is continuing to advance opportunities for businesses and residents to benefit from the installation
of solar energy. The SolSmart gold designation makes the solar install process faster and reduces the cost
associated with solar energy. This designation will help improve our community resilience and reduce air
pollution.
As a SolSmart designee, La Crescent is helping solar companies greatly reduce the cost of installations and
pass those savings on to consumers. This allows even more local homes and businesses to obtain affordable,
clean, and reliable electricity through solar. The actions La Crescent has taken will help encourage solar
companies to do business in the area, driving economic development and creating local jobs. To receive
designation, cities and counties make changes to their local processes to reduce the time and money it takes
to install a solar energy system. This includes evaluating local permitting processes, as well as planning and
zoning procedures. SolSmart designees also develop innovations in areas such as market development and
finance.
SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers
to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver, or
bronze. As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to
help communities achieve designation. All cities and counties are eligible to join the SolSmart program and
receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at SolSmart.org.