ABOUT US | History
Originally established in 2002 as Solar Sebastopol, Solar Sonoma County was founded by Lori Houston and Marty Roberts with a grant from the U.S. Department of energy, in partnership with the City of Santa Rosa. The program has garnered national and international media attention as one of 25 Solar America Cities, and the only countywide program.
In March 2008, the City of Santa Rosa, on behalf of Solar Sonoma County, won a prestigious U.S. Department of Energy Solar America Cities grant to form Solar Sonoma County and create a countywide solar implementation plan. Santa Rosa is now designated by the Department of Energy to set the example for the rest of the nation on how to mainstream solar energy through local action.
Working together with local governments, businesses, solar vendors, energy efficiency professionals, nonprofits, and individuals, Solar Sonoma County is working collaboratively to advance Sonoma County's transition to clean, renewable energy. Solar Sonoma County's goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to meet and even exceed countywide targets for climate protection, which ultimately will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
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Here are a few of our accomplishments:
- Received Department of Energy Steel on the Roof Award in 2011 for helping facilitate the installation of 42 megawatts of solar PV in Sonoma County – more than any other county participating in the Solar America Cities program.
- Established county-wide solar permit submittal package
- Developed Quality Assurance Program for vetting solar contractors.
- Hosted Solar Leader’s Circle events in 2010 and 2011.
- Countywide Solar Implementation Plan: Working to streamline and standardize solar policies for all local governments.
- Public Installations: Assisting local governments with solar PV and thermal power installations at public facilities.
- Promoting efficiency and conservation by bundling with solar initiatives.
- Aggregating public outreach, education, and marketing for solar energy.
- Establishing innovative financing and incentives to make solar more easily adopted.
- Awarded Special Recognition from Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey in November 2010 for Solar Sonoma County’s leadership in sustainability collaborative initiative.