With over 2 million solar customers in the U.S., new technology to help store solar power is on the rise. This technology is helping to reduce the cost of solar installations and is saving money for local governments. Solar power and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are joining forces with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and many others to develop a new automated solar permit software for distributed solar storage.
The cost to install solar energy in the U.S. has decreased 70% over the last 10 years, but costs are still much higher compared to other countries. The reason that the cost is higher in the U.S. is largely due to costs associated with permits, inspections and cancelation fees.
New Technology Will Reduce Costs
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions awarded the NREL $695,000 from their Technology and Commercialization Fund to develop a software platform called Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) that will significantly reduce the time and cost of permitting applications. In turn, this will make solar energy more affordable for businesses, which will expand solar energy development and job growth.
“Inefficient permitting can cause frustration and added costs for Americans who just want to go solar,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “A streamlined, easy-to-use solution such as SolarAPP can cut down on burdensome applications and connect solar projects to the grid faster. A more reliable permitting experience will help both inspectors and solar customers save time and money without sacrificing safety or quality.”
The SolarAPP initiative builds on previous and existing programs, which will provide a streamlined process that will increase efficiency and reduce the time and cost of solar installation. This new initiative will lead to lower cancellation rates across the board and will make it more efficient and cost effective for business owners to access clean, affordable solar energy. This new platform could also benefit local governments that are facing budget constraints and growing workloads to keep up with the accelerated pace of solar energy development.
Interested in learning more about solar energy, contact the team at Intersect Energy today! We provide analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions for your site with a goal of reducing the site’s environmental impact while maximizing savings for you as the site owner. Contact us today to get started on your next solar energy project. Make sure you keep up with the latest news in the world of renewable energy by following us on LinkedIn!