The Madison-based Capital Area Regional Planning Commission yesterday announced it had received SolSmart’s Bronze-level recognition, acknowledging its efforts to encourage solar energy development in the greater Madison region.

CARPC Executive Director Jason Valerius says the organization is “thrilled” to be recognized by SolSmart, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

“But we are even more excited to see Dane County and local communities, including McFarland, Mount Horeb, Middleton, and Sun Prairie, receive recognition,” he said in a statement. “These communities are leaders in our ongoing transition to renewable energy sources and we’re happy to support their leadership.”

While SolSmart offers free technical help and resources to drive solar development, local governments can be designated by the program by meeting certain criteria “based on national best practices for building solar-friendly communities,” the release shows.

The framework includes categories such as permitting and inspection, planning and zoning, government operations, community management and market development, according to SolSmart’s website.

See more in the release.