Who created SolarAPP+? How was SolarAPP+ developed?
The SolarAPP+ initiative grew out of an industry stakeholder meeting co-organized by The Solar Foundation and The Solar Energy Industries Association in the summer of 2018, with the Rocky Mountain Institute as the facilitator. Based on international and domestic examples of automatic permitting processes for solar, a group of researchers, non-profits, industry trade groups, installation firms, and other stakeholders have met regularly since then to move the idea of a national automated permitting process from concept to reality. Australia, Los Angeles, and San Jose, California were all used as model examples to develop SolarAPP+.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory secured funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and matching in-kind commitments from industry partners (including Sunrun, Tesla, SunPower, Vivint, Mosaic, California Solar Energy Association, and the Institute for Building Technology and Safety) to develop an online software tool that facilitates automated permit review of residential PV systems, thereby instantaneously issuing permits and reducing the time to process a permit, drastically for jurisdictions and installers alike. Additional input and review has been provided by the International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Fire Protection Association, Underwriters Laboratories, and many local governments.
SolarAPP+ permitting specifications are based on model building and electrical and fire codes, and are cross-referenced to the leading permitting guidebooks from California, New York and the SolSmart National Simplified Permit Guidelines for Residential Photovoltaic Arrays. SolarAPP+ is fully adopted in communities in California and Arizona and is working to expand in communities all over the United States.