DuPage County, along with Lake County and 21 municipalities, received a coveted SolSmart designation in a ceremony at Argonne National Laboratories earlier this month. With the 23 new designations, Illinois is expected to have 41 municipalities and counties that have earned SolSmart designation, zooming past California and Colorado.

SolSmart is a national program designed to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets. Communities that meet the official criteria are designated SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze. SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

The May 9th ceremony honored Bartlett, Deer Park, Elgin, Hillside, Hoffman Estates, LaGrange, Lake County, Lake Forest, Lake in the Hills, Libertyville, Montgomery, Naperville, Palos Park, Park Ridge, River Forest, Rockford, Round Lake Beach, Warrenville, Waukegan, and Winnetka. These 20 communities received no-cost technical assistance from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, which served as a SolSmart Advisor and was the chief catalyst in the communities’ drive to seek designation. DuPage County, Oak Park and Woodridge, received no-cost assistance directly from SolSmart’s team of national experts, and were also honored. Nationwide, more than 250 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia have received designations, representing 69 million Americans.

PowerForward DuPage, together with Power Up Now and Powering Chicago were sponsors of the event.