Solar Landing Page

About SolSmart 

SolSmart is a national program that helps cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations become solar energy leaders. 

SolSmart Homepage

Benefits of Solar

Solar energy offers several benefits, including environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions, cost saving on electricity bills, job creation in the renewable energy sector, and increased energy independence through harnessing a renewable and abundant resource- the sun. Additionally, solar power contributes to a more resilient and decentralized energy grid, which is greatly beneficial for cities.

For more information about the benefits of solar, solar options and questions to ask professionals, read the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and visit the Department of Energy's Homeowner's Guide to Going Solar

Portsmouth Solar Commitment 

In partnership with the SolSmart team, our dedicated City staff members will work to improve solar market conditions, making it faster, easier, and more affordable for our residents and businesses to install solar energy systems. These efforts will also increase the efficiency of local processes related to solar development, which may save our local government time and money.

 We will leverage SolSmart to achieve the following solar goals:

  1. Develop a streamlined process for solar permitting or inspections.
  2. Promote and participate in long-term, community wide sustainable solar programs.
  3. Install solar energy systems on key local government facilities.

Inquiries related to our SolSmart participation can be directed to Jillian Harris, Principal Planner at

Portsmouth Solar Permit Tracking

Permits for solar installations are obtained through the online permitting system for the City of Portsmouth. Solar installations since 2017 by Zoning District are tracked and outlined as of February 2024 below. The City of Portsmouth has received 39 permit applications for solar installation in that 5-year timeline.

Solar by District


Policies and Procedures

For information on required permits and inspections see the Portsmouth Solar Permitting Checklist : Solar Permitting Checklist 

Local Solar Projects

The City of Portsmouth completed two major solar energy projects as of 2017. One located at the Portsmouth High School, and the other at Portsmouth’s Madbury Water Treatment Plant. Please see the link below for more information on these two projects

 Solar Energy Projects 

Solar in the Historic District 

If your  property is located in the Historic District please reach out to Izak Gilbo ( in the Planning and Sustainability Department for more information on guidelines for solar in the Historic District. If you are unsure whether or not your project falls into the Historic District, please reference the Zoning Layer on our online mapping service, MapGeo.

Tax Exemption 

Did you know the City of Portsmouth offers an assessment exemption for solar energy systems? According to NH RSA 72:62, cities and towns may adopt under RSA 72:27 "an exemption from the assessed value, for property tax purposes, for persons owning real property which is equipped with a solar energy system as defined in RSA 72:61." Please see the Solar Energy Systems Exemption page or reach out to the Assessing Department for more details at (603) 610-7249.