Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of a new online permitting platform to accelerate the approval of solar projects while maintaining the integrity of the permitting process.
SolarAPP+ was developed and built by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in consultation with a broad range of experts from businesses, trade groups, local governments, researchers, and code and safety organizations. It will cut the time and expense of going solar in the U.S., where the cost of installation is 2-3 times greater than in countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
With this announcement, SolarAPP+ is now being made available as a solution to cities across the country to help jurisdictions process solar installations more efficiently and with a standardized high level of quality and safety. This efficiency gain and cost reduction is seen as critical for American energy consumers to achieve the rapid growth in solar adoption targeted by the administration.
Solar customers will save money. Solar installers will have more clarity about the process, get more projects done and contribute more to local economies. Local officials will be able to rely on quality assurance processes built into the online application tool with input from code and safety experts at organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Association. (NFPA).
It is now time to support rapid adoption of SolarAPP+ by cities across the country. To support this goal, a group of solar companies, state solar energy associations, clean energy advocates, and environmental organizations has launched The SolarAPP+ Campaign to raise awareness about SolarAPP+ and promote its adoption. The project is motivated by national data showing that local governments with instant online permitting for rooftop solar process 5-14x more volume than jurisdictions with traditional permit processing. The SolarAPP+ Campaign is supporting state solar associations’ advocacy with a goal of getting over 100 jurisdictions to adopt the new tool by next summer.
“By adopting SolarAPP+, cities can ramp up more solar in their communities, while improving the quality and safety of their permitting process. It will lead to more happy solar customers, less pollution, more jobs, and more local economic benefits,” said Andrew Birch and Anne Hoskins, Co-Chairs of the SolarAPP+ Campaign. “We’re excited to work with local officials and other stakeholders to advance the benefits of this new tool.”
For more information on the campaign and its partners, go to SolarAPPCampaign(dot)org