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.

Download: NY-Sun Solar Guidebook for Local Governments in New York State [PDF]*

NY-Sun offers free technical assistance to communities implementing sections of the Guidebook. To request technical assistance or to simply ask a question, email the NY-Sun staff at

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*Payment-in-Lieu-of Taxes section not currently included in the Solar Guidebook PDF.

New York State Unified Solar Permit

This permit and usage guide includes instructions to help local government officials understand and streamline the solar permitting and inspection process while ensuring efficiency, transparency, and safety.

Permitting and Inspection Tools

Additional Resources

Local governments that adopt the Unified Solar Permit are eligible for up to $5,000 through NYSERDA’s Streamlined Permitting PV incentive to implement the new procedures. For more information , please contact a Clean Energy Communities Coordinator at

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.

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

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.