SEIA-led project targets US soft cost reductions


SunRun CEO Lynn Jurich claimed the plan could lead to an additional 1 million solar installations. Source: SunRun.

A new initiative in the US will take aim at the country’s US$1 per Watt soft costs for residential solar. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation used the first day of the SPI 2018 event to launch the new Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) programme.

The object is to simplify and slash the costs associated with permitting and inspections for both solar and energy storage. It will include a new certification scheme for installers and for key components.

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“Reforming the solar and battery permitting process is one of the most significant steps our country can take to making solar more affordable for all,” said Lynn Jurich, CEO, Sunrun. “There is a patchwork of inconsistent permitting procedures and standards across the US and our customers pay the high costs of navigating this system. We have an opportunity to help the industry invest in a million more solar roofs over the next five years from the savings by making the permitting process faster, while ensuring safety and reliability for all.”

A national online platform will be provided to local authorities enabling them to screen and approve installations. A process made easier by certifying the installers themselves. Projects by approved installers will effectively be instantly approved.

The initiative’s administrator will also be on hand to assist authorities’ with technical queries. SolarAPP will also provide guidelines on system design. 

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