January 31, 2023
NORTHBROOK, Illinois — January 31, 2023 — UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, today announced new milestones for SolarAPP+, an automated permitting solution in the United States (U.S.) for residential rooftop solar energy system installations, which the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed in collaboration with UL Solutions, code authorities, municipalities and the solar industry. Since SolarAPP+ debuted in 2021, there are now 27 communities using SolarAPP+, with over 10,270 permits issued, 59,350 kilowatts approved and 10,270 estimated hours saved in review time.
SolarAPP+ aims to accelerate residential rooftop solar energy system adoption by making it easier for local governments to quickly and safely approve standardized projects for installation using the permitting software. SolarAPP+ is complimentary for municipalities to utilize and is supported by administrative fees paid by installers. The City of Tucson, Arizona, has already issued 3,587 permits using SolarAPP+, resulting in 21,584 kilowatts approved and an estimated 3,659 hours saved on initial permit reviews.
“Offering our solar installers a way to self-permit expedites the process,” said Carla Blackwell, director of Pima County, Arizona, Development Services. “Pima County and the City of Tucson were early adopters of SolarAPP+. The permit process used to take several days, or weeks in some cases, but permits can now be issued the same day an application is submitted using SolarAPP+.”
Combining the experience and technical know-how of NREL, UL Solutions and industry partners with data from participating local authorities and code officials formed the basis for the standardized plan review software. The software can run compliance checks and automate building permit approvals for eligible residential rooftop solar energy systems in a matter of minutes. It can also standardize up to 90% of system plans.
“UL Solutions supports SolarAPP+ as an important enabler of safer and cleaner energy. SolarAPP+ compliance checks are standardized and automated so that permits for qualified projects can be issued on the same day, alleviating the administrative burden on the local government. We are working collectively with the NREL, the solar industry and municipalities to enable a faster, more efficient platform that bridges the gap between safety, compliance and residential renewable energy through SolarAPP+,” said Ken Boyce, senior director of principal engineering in the Testing, Inspection and Certification group at UL Solutions. “By working with industry leaders, governments and other organizations to facilitate the safe innovation of the processes, technologies and products transforming the energy industry, we are constantly developing new ways to help markets around the world benefit from renewable energy.”
“UL Solutions has served as a key partner since the inception of this collaborative effort to support access to safer, more affordable residential rooftop solar energy systems in the U.S.,” said Larry Sherwood, chair of the SolarAPP+ Foundation. “SolarAPP+ is a testament to the progress that can be made when all stakeholders come together under a common goal in support of cleaner energy and the solar industry.”
About UL Solutions
A global leader in applied safety science, UL Solutions transforms safety, security and sustainability challenges into opportunities for customers in more than 100 countries. UL Solutions delivers testing, inspection and certification services, together with software products and advisory offerings, that support our customers’ product innovation and business growth. The UL Certification Marks serve as a recognized symbol of trust in our customers’ products and reflect an unwavering commitment to advancing our safety mission. We help our customers innovate, launch new products and services, navigate global markets and complex supply chains and grow sustainably and responsibly into the future. Our science is your advantage.
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