SolarAPP+ expands into energy storage permitting


Since its launch in July, the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool has processed over 2,800 residential solar permits for more than 20 MW of residential solar across 12 jurisdictions. In addition, nearly 200 other jurisdictions are interested in the tool, which is a free, DOE-developed web-based platform that allows local governments to instantly approve residential solar installation permits.

In the summer, Secretary Granholm issued a challenge, encouraging jurisdictions to sign onto SolarAPP+. The level of interest in SolarAPP+ and the number of permits processed suggests that the tool will have wide-spread adoption in communities across the United States. New goals are on the horizon for SolarAPP+.  By March 31, 2022, the program aims to be engaged with 300 jurisdictions. By 2023, the goal is to reach 600 jurisdictions.


States showing significant interest: California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. States showing some interest: Idaho, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Hawaii, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington. Emerging states: Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.  

Cities and counties across the country have shown their interest in adopting SolarAPP+cost of solar through direct and indirect costs of permitting. What used to take months for approval can now take less than a day. The jurisdictions are saving time on each application and customers have saved an estimated 12 business days from the time of project submission to the jurisdiction’s final inspection. 

In addition, SolarAPP+ will  support more types of home energy systems. Nine communities are piloting SolarAPP+ permitting for energy storage systems, with more than 215 permits processed so far. The SolarAPP+ team is also in the early stages of piloting permitting for building-integrated photovoltaic systems. 

Costs for solar permitting and the interconnection processes are higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries with strong solar markets, and SolarAPP+ is attempting to change that. In fact, SEIA estimates that approximately $1 per Watt is added to the

“We were the first to adopt SolarAPP+ and issue a permit through SolarAPP+,” said Sue Noack, mayor of Pleasant Hill, California. “With all the solar installations we’ve done, there have been no issues.” 

SolarAPP+ is playing a role in helping the U.S. meet its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Secretary Granholm is encouraging mayors and local government officials to take action and reach out to the SolarAPP+ team.

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