Bellevue Deputy City Manager Kate Berens (left) and environmental planning manager Heidi Bedwell accept the SolSmart Bronze award on behalf of the organization. The honor recognizes cities who have worked to encourage solar energy use within the community. Photo courtesy of city of Bellevue

City of Bellevue wins SolSmart Bronze award

  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:52pm
  • News

The city of Bellevue has been awarded a bronze designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. The honor recognizes the city for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Bronze designation is a signal that Bellevue is “open for solar business.”

“Our goal has been to support solar energy by utilizing a simple, consistent solar permit process for residents and businesses,” said Heidi Bedwell, environmental planning manager for the city’s Development Services Department. “It’s been an ongoing process, but Bellevue has been able to help cut the cost of solar and make it a more viable clean energy option.”

To receive the 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 is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. More than 100 cities, counties and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

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 then recognized. As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities achieve designation.

Bellevue’s SolSmart recognition builds on the city’s accomplishments in promoting solar by participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative in 2012, earning recognition through the Evergreen State Solar Partnership, and collaborating with Sparks Northwest (formerly Northwest SEED) on two Solarize campaigns in 2014 and 2015, which resulted in the installation of 88 solar arrays in Bellevue.

Bellevue’s involvement in encouraging solar and other clean energy solutions is part of the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, through which the city coordinates and manages a range of programs aimed at protecting the environment.

To learn more, visit SolSmart.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy City of Bellevue
Main water line break in Bellevue

The city has not identified any contamination to main water line

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok/Pexels
Bellevue reopens aquatic center

Swimmers must make reservations for pool use

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Most Read