Solar Automated Permit Processing
Increasing Efficiency - Generating Jobs - Improving the Environment
Permitting, inspection, and interconnection (PII) requirements represent a growing proportion of residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) installation costs. Industry estimates that the direct (i.e., cost of labor) and indirect costs (i.e., cost of customer cancellation) associated with PII may add up to $1/watt to each successful installation. Streamlining these costs can both reduce Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) resource requirements and maximize value for PV customers.
NREL and its partners are developing the solar automated permit processing (SolarAPP) platform that can be used by industry and AHJs to streamline permitting and inspection processes and related staff time. SolarAPP will allow industry to certify their system’s safety and apply and receive a permit from a specific municipality at lower cost to the installer and the municipality. The platform can then be used by the AHJ to identify PV systems for inspection providing a pathway to track and enforce compliance.
SolarAPP will provide 20,000 municipalities with a lower cost, more efficient option to manage permitting and inspection for distributed PV and related technologies (i.e., battery storage). This will ensure permitting and inspection processes are manageable within existing budgetary constraints, while reducing installation costs and customer cancellation rates among installers thereby broadening the PV market.