City of Norfolk Achieves SolSmart Gold Status

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The City of Norfolk received the SolSmart Gold designation in December 2023. The designation recognizes efforts to advance solar power in the community. Norfolk is the only city in Hampton Roads Virginia to achieve SolSmart Gold status.

SolSmart is a national program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, that recognizes communities that foster solar energy growth, educate residents about solar options and address accessibility barriers.

The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy), in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, serve as no-cost technical partners with the SolSmart program.

In 2017, Mayor Alexander signed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and established the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. The Commission’s Climate Action Plan, adopted by City Council in 2019, includes strategies and goals to utilize solar and other renewable energy resources.

The City’s Department of General Services Environmental Sustainability Team led interdepartmental efforts to achieve SolSmart Gold status. Requirements include inspection and permit staff training, code and zoning reviews, faster permit turnaround time and an online resource detailing the steps in the City’s permit process for small rooftop solar cells.

The City also demonstrated exceptional dedication to expanding solar on public facilities, among which includes rooftop solar installations on two Norfolk fire stations and a land lease on an eight-megawatt solar project at the former Campostella landfill.

Visit for information about solar permits, zoning, and other resources.

source: City of Norfolk