SolarAPP+, an automated permitting solution in the U.S. for residential rooftop solar system installations, reached new milestones. The success of this permitting platform is reflected in the numbers; since its launch in 2021, not only have over 27 communities adopted SolarAPP+, but they have also managed to issue 10,270 permits while approving nearly 60,000 kWh of solar projects. Notable, to date, an estimated 10,270 hours of review time have been saved.
SolarAPP+ was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in collaboration with UL Solutions, code authorities, municipalities and the solar industry. It aims to accelerate residential rooftop solar adoption by making it easier for local governments to quickly and safely approve standardized projects for installation.
Combining the experience and technical know-how of NREL, UL Solutions and industry partners with data from participating local authorities and code officials formed the basis for the platform. As a leading applied safety science solutions provider, UL Solutions help to standardize and automate the compliance checks for SolarAPP+ in a matter of minutes so that permits for qualified projects can be issued on the same day, alleviating the administrative burden on the local government.
SolarAPP+ can reportedly standardize up to 90% of solar system plans. It is complimentary for municipalities to utilize and is supported by administrative fees paid by solar installers.
In January, the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection launched a pilot program with SolarAPP+. Using the platform, licensed contractors can obtain an instant online electrical permit for qualifying rooftop solar installations of 10 kWdc or less on single or two-family homes.