Solar Guidebook for Local Governments

Solar Guidebook Cover

NY-Sun created the Solar Guidebook to help local governments develop solar energy in their communities. These resources include information that empowers New York communities to support local economic growth and meet their energy goals. Communities can download the full Guidebook or access individual sections below.

Guidebook Download: New York Solar Guidebook [PDF]*
Guidebook Overview: An Overview of How to Use the Solar GuidebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Free Solar Technical Assistance for Local Governments

NY-Sun partners with local governments one-on-one to help meet their solar energy goals. Free technical assistance is available to local governments on solar zoning, property taxes, SEQR, or any other issue. Click the button below to request assistance. For questions, email the NY-Sun staff at and we will respond within 24 hours.

Request Solar Technical Assistance


To receive information about NY-Sun, join our mailing list.

New York State Unified Solar Permit

The following guide includes instructions to help local government officials understand and improve the solar permitting and inspection process while ensuring efficiency, transparency, and safety.

Permitting and Inspection Tools

Roof Top Access and Ventilation Requirements

This document will help clarify the 2015 International Residential Code and errata amendments as adopted by New York State.

State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for Solar

This guidance document provides background information and step-by-step instructions for municipal boards serving as Lead Agency in the SEQR process for large-scale solar energy systems.

Understanding the Real Property Tax Law Section § 487

This fact sheet highlights important information for local governments considering opting out of RPTL § 487.

Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Toolkit

This Toolkit is an aid to assist New York State municipalities considering Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) agreements for Community Solar projects larger than 1 MW. Users are encouraged to read the Cover Sheet before using the other resources.

The Solar PILOT Toolkit includes:

View the Solar PILOT Toolkit webinarLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. hosted on July 25, 2017.

NY-Sun staff welcomes questions from local governments about these resources. To ask a question, please email

Land Use Tools for Siting Solar While Protecting Farmland

This guidance document explains how municipalities can use special-use permits and site plan regulations to support solar energy development while ensuring their most valuable and productive farmland remains in operation.

Solar Installations in Agricultural Districts

This fact sheet is meant to help municipalities navigate the potential impacts of siting solar photovoltaics in agricultural districts.

Landowner Considerations for Solar Land Leases

This fact sheet is meant to help landowners identify key questions and potential impacts of leasing land for solar projects.

Decommissioning of Solar

This fact sheet provides information to local governments and landowners on the decommissioning of large-scale solar panel systems.

Additional Resources

This section contains additional information on land use planning and solar energy law.