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Municipal Solar

In 2017, the City launched an effort to diversify the energy supply at its own facilities with an over $13 million investment in solar panels at 32 municipal locations across Bloomington. The City of Bloomington supports increasing renewable generation across the community to reduce emissions and reduce the City's operational costs. You can view a map and details of all City solar installations on the City B Clear Data Portal.  

Online solar dashboard now available! View current and past renewable electricity generation for City of Bloomington solar installations.

 

Residential Solar

Residents can also learn more about going solar by attending an information session held by volunteers from the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN), a project of the Center for Sustainable Living. Information sessions are held throughout the year, sign up to attend at: www.tinyurl.com/HelpingYouGoSolar  

2021 sessions will be held at City Hall Council Chambers when possible, or by online video conference like Zoom or Facebook Live when necessary to adhere to social distancing requirements. The next available sessions will be held online on the following dates:

  • February 11th- 7 pm 
  • March 9th- 12 pm 
  • March 24th- 12 pm
  • April 6th- 7 pm
  • April 29th- 12 pm 
  • May 18- 12 pm
  • June 9, 7:00 pm 
  • June 29, 7:00 pm

 

You can view a map of solar installations in Monroe County and beyond on SIREN’s website at https://www.sirensolar.org/solar-map/.

 

Indiana Solar for All

Indiana Solar for All (ISFA) is another initiative of the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Living that works to make grants to homeowners with fixed or limited incomes to install rooftop solar systems. Homeowners selected for participation defray the cost of installing their solar system through sweat equity, by helping with several installations besides their own and by helping to grow and maintain the program. For more information, visit ISFA



 

Permitting Steps for Ground-Mounted Solar Installations Within Bloomington City Limits
 

Step 1: Installer/ property owner must complete application for electrical permit at County Building Department

  • County electrical permit application - $50
  • Site plan is required from the system installer
  • Licensed electrician must sign off on the electrical permit application
  • No additional county permits required 
     

Step 2: County Planning receives from County Building Department the electrical permit application and site plan for review 

  • Planning Department reviews site plan and conducts remote site visit with geographic information system (GIS)
  • Planning Department appends an Improvement Location Permit (ILP)
    • Note: ILP is not an additional permit but rather an approval attached to the electrical permit
       

Step 3: County Building Department issues electrical permit with ILP approval

  • Permitting process involving County Building Department and County Planning Department takes about one week
     

Step 4: Bloomington City Planning & Transportation receive from County Building the site plan and permit with Improvement Location Permit for review
 

Step 5: City Planning & Transportation reviews the site plan for compliance with zoning regulations 

  • City Planning & Transportation issues a Certificate of Zoning Compliance if the project meets the required standards. (e.g. setbacks, impervious surface coverage, etc.)
     

Historic Preservation (if applicable)
 

Step 6: City Planning & Transportation forwards site plans for photovoltaic installations to the Historic Preservation Program in Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) if property is found to be in a historic district 
 

Step 6a: Property owner is responsible for verifying whether their property is in a historic district

Step 7: The Historic Preservation Commission reviews application at the next regularly scheduled Historic Preservation Committee meeting.

  • If application for the COA is successful, the COA is issued and should be displayed in window of home while work is in progress 


 

Permitting Steps for Rooftop Solar Installations Within Bloomington City Limits
 

Step 1: Installer/property owner must complete application for electrical permit at County Building Department

  • County electrical permit application - $50
  • No site plan is required for rooftop installs
  • Licensed electrician must sign off on the electrical permit application
  • No additional county permits required 
     

Step 2: County Building Department reviews electrical permit application

  • County Planning does not review project or site plan for rooftop projects within city limits
  • Outside of Bloomington city limits, a waiver is required from County Planning (no charge) to ensure that the rooftop installation complies with height restrictions
     

Step 3: County Building Department issues electrical permit

  • Permits are usually issued same day over the counter
     

Note Regarding City Planning: City of Bloomington Planning & Transportation (P&T) does not issue Certificate of Zoning Compliance for rooftop installations, but Planning & Transportation will advise homeowners on compliance with zoning restrictions if requested. 
 

Historic Preservation (if applicable)
 

Step 4: Property owner is responsible for verifying whether their home is in a historic district

  • the My Bloomington resource can be used to determine whether home is in a historic district

Step 5: The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) reviews application at the next regularly scheduled HPC meeting.

  • If application for the COA is successful, the COA is issued and should be displayed in window while work is in progress 


 

Permitting Contacts

Monroe County Building Department

Showers Building North

501 N Morton St

Suite 220

Bloomington, IN 47404

Phone: (812) 349-2580

Email: BuildingInspector@co.monroe.in.us

 

Monroe County Planning Department

Showers Building North

501 N Morton St

Suite 224

Bloomington, IN 47404

Phone: (812) 349-2560

Email: planningoffice@co.monroe.in.us

 

Bloomington City Planning and Transportation

401 N Morton St
Suite 130
Bloomington, IN 47408

Phone: (812) 349-3423
Email: Planning@bloomington.in.gov

 

Historic Preservation Program

401 N Morton St

Suite 130

Bloomington IN 47404

Phone: (812) 349-3420