SolarAPP+ Prize awards jurisdictions that successfully implement solar permitting platform
DOE is awarding a cash prize of $15,000 to winning jurisdictions that successfully implement SolarAPP+ by April 27, 2023
With the growth of renewable energy and the need for fossil fuel alternatives, communities and individuals are searching for ways to combat climate change. Solar energy, which already accounts for 3% of U.S. total electricity and 14% of renewable electricity, is a key step in the transition to clean energy. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory has partnered with several communities to lead this effort and, on September 12, 2022, launched the SolarAPP+ Prize as a means to expedite the implementation of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across the nation.
As mayor of the fifth-largest city–and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States–Phoenix, AZ mayor Kate Gallego is keen on innovating to reach the city’s ambitious renewable energy goals. “We want to get that permitted as fast as possible, but we don’t want to sacrifice safety, and we want to make sure we’re not just doing it quickly, but doing it well,” Gallegos said at an industry roundtable event. Adopting an automated permitting platform such as SolarAPP+ is therefore crucial in achieving clean energy benchmarks.
SolarAPP+ is an online permitting platform that automatically and instantaneously issues permits for code-compliant residential solar PV systems. This process saves jurisdictions both time and money, and the tool has expanded to nearly 10,000 projects across 25 cities, counties, towns, and villages nationwide. By saving between 15 and 60 minutes per permit application, SolarAPP+ has helped reduce plan review time by a cumulative of over 9,500 hours.
Through the SolarAPP+ Prize, the DOE is awarding a cash prize of $15,000 to winning jurisdictions that successfully implement SolarAPP+ by April 27, 2023; awards will be given based on required submissions. The submission deadline for the SolarAPP+ Prize is November 4, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET.
More information about the SolarAPP+ Prize can be found at https://www.americanmadechallenges.org/challenges/solarapp/.
Interested people can register for an informational webinar to be held on October 11, 2022, at: https://iccsafe.webex.com/iccsafe/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9394f3f2eff0bf18f97b47c2a64cb90b.