How do I set up SolarAPP+ with Opengov permitting software?

This article describes how to set up SolarAPP+ for jurisdictions with OpenGov permitting software. With OpenGov, jurisdictions can allow solar installers to submit projects into SolarAPP+, receive approval documentation, and complete their application in OpenGov. The incorporation of SolarAPP+ in your OpenGov system is straightforward, but contact [email protected] or your OpenGov representative if you experience issues.

The configuration for OpenGov to process SolarAPP+ projects is outlined below.

1) Permit Type

Before contractors can submit SolarAPP+ projects in your government system, you must create a new selectable permit type that is separate from the standard building permit. You may use a naming convention similar to the permit title displayed in the screenshot below ("SolarAPP+ Solar Permit").

2) Confirm Contact Information

The first page of the SolarAPP+ permit type application form could contain fields for the contractor to enter basic contact information.

3) Location for SolarAPP+ Permit

Next, the contractor may select the location by entering the street address, parcel number, or the property owner's name into the search bar. Your OpenGov system may contain a record of the above items and the AHJ can employ the same address validation process used for other online permits. Contractors would contact the city or county building department if there are issues with address/parcel validation.

4) Permit Information

The contractor will enter information about the permit documentation and project on this page. The first field - the SolarAPP Approval ID - is a mandatory field in which the contractor enters the Approval ID number generated by SolarAPP. The Approval ID number is a unique identifier for SolarAPP projects, and information entered into this field should match the formatting for the SolarAPP Approval ID (e.g., SA202XX-X-X-X-X).

The city or county may also require the contractor to enter additional information in this page, such as total project cost and the system size in kilowatts. For example, this page also includes language from the California Building Code 2019 Chapter 1 Section [A] 105.4 on the Validity of a Permit.

5) Contractor Information

On Step 4 in the application, the contractor may be asked to populate the fields with their Contractor State License Number, Contractor Name, License Classification, License Expiration Date, City or County Business License Number (if required), and other fields.

6) Attachments

On the final page of the application form, the contractor should be able to upload the SolarAPP+ Approval Document, which contains the inspection checklist for the project. The city or county may also require the contractor to upload additional documentation on this page, such as the specification/datasheets for the project. If the locality requires Contractors' Declaration forms, this page may also include these fields.

7) Review 

Finally, the contactor may review the information in the application and submit to OpenGov. Once submitted, the contractor must be able to pay for the permit. Then the contractor must be issued the permit automatically after payment confirmation and subsequently be able to schedule an inspection.

8) Submitting Revisions

If you need to submit a project revision, you will need to resubmit the revised SolarAPP+ application into Opengov. In the case that you have already scheduled an inspection, make sure you notify the inspector that the project has been revised, so they can use the most up-to-date version of the inspection checklist.

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