The Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus software platform has helped local governments approve nearly 33,000 solar projects.
With solar permitting one of the bottlenecks to the buildout of clean energy across the U.S., Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarApp+) is helping local communities streamline the process.
SolarApp+ was released in 2021 by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The free web-based platform was developed for the purpose of lowering the costs and timeframe associated with solar permitting, and is said to cut about 12 days off the permitting process. The software has been approved for both solar photovoltaic systems and battery energy storage.
“SolarAPP+ ensures solar projects meet code requirements, enhancing safety while significantly shortening cycle time and accelerating the trajectory towards our climate goals,” said Mark Rodriguez, executive director of the SolarAPP+ Foundation, which is responsible for SolarAPP+’s long-term stewardship.
When launched, the DOE set a goal of having 600 communities using SolarApp+ by 2023. And while actual use has fallen far short of that goal, the 160 communities that are using it have approved more than 32,800 projects, saving more than 33,000 hours of permitting staff time without sacrificing safety or code compliance.
“We are very proud of the impacts SolarAPP+ has had,” said Jeff Cook, SolarAPP+ Program Lead at NREL. “The rapid adoption by local governments across the country proves that safe, automated permitting is not only possible, but delivers immense benefits to local governments, homeowners, and contractors. We encourage all communities to consider piloting SolarAPP+ to see what it can do for you.”
By accelerating the permitting process, SolarAPP+ is playing a role in helping the U.S. meet its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Local governments can learn more about SolarApp+ here.
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