Roselle recognized for promoting solar energy use
Roselle has been recognized for promoting solar energy use in the community.
The village has received a "silver" rating from SolSmart, a U.S. Department of Energy-funded nonprofit program that measures solar energy growth in local communities. It is one of 390 communities nationally, and 48 in Illinois, to be recognized for taking steps to encourage solar energy use.
Other suburbs receiving honors include: Aurora, Bartlett and Waukegan, gold; Elgin, Naperville, Schaumburg, silver; Round Lake Beach and Palatine, bronze.
Roselle Village Planner Caron Bricks said Roselle has more than 200 buildings with solar panels installed. She anticipates more solar panels will be installed on houses and said the village plans to install panels on its public buildings, such as village hall.
"I think people have gotten really excited about how they can help the environment," Bricks said. "Homeowners feel good about getting their electricity from natural resources instead of coal or other sources."
Bricks said the average solar panel installation costs $15,000 to $30,000. A permit to install solar panels in the village costs $200 and can take a week to approve. The village requires five photos of the installation in progress for inspection purposes, with a photo of roof sections prior to installation and a photo of each component used while under construction, including frame and fasteners.
Roselle plans to further streamline the process of obtaining permits for installing solar panels to encourage property owners to purchase them and village staff to support their use. This includes cross-training inspection staff and permit issuing staff members on solar installations, relaxing permits and hearings to allow solar panels to be installed in any part of the village.
In addition to public building expansion, solar panels are being planned for installation on the new Metro-19 apartment complex and its garage. The $80 million, 5-acre building is poised to be the largest development in Roselle's history.
"These are some of the first steps for us to really think about our global impact," Bricks said. "It's a good starting point for discussion on where we need to go."