Accela, a provider of cloud-based government solutions, has partnered with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to launch SolarAPP + (Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus), a new one immediately Online solar permit platform for solar energy and battery projects in residential areas.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution will be rolled out to 1,500 agencies at launch and made available to Accela’s current state and local customers free of charge. In doing so, the partnership will help build resilience, fuel economic recovery, meet growing demand for clean energy, and accelerate solar permitting across the country. Accela works with over 80% of the largest cities in the US and has worked with agencies for years to modernize the solar permit.
“Agencies across the country are increasingly looking for ways to accelerate solar energy to create local jobs, fuel economic growth and protect the environment,” said Tom Nieto, COO, Accela. “We are very excited to partner with NREL on this project, which fits perfectly with our mission to deliver SaaS solutions to improve efficiency, increase citizen engagement and build thriving and resilient communities.”
Residential solar and battery applications make up a growing percentage of approved pipelines, with authorities receiving hundreds of solar photovoltaic system permit applications per month. As more local governments create climate action plans to reduce emissions and combat climate change, the new Accela and NREL partnership will help agencies seamlessly manage large volumes of residential solar and household battery applications to significantly offset employee workloads. Also, since solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the US, it will help local governments fuel economic growth in the face of record budget constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic.
NREL's turnkey solution detects code problems, typos, and other errors and immediately returns corrections to the applicant. This allows simple projects to move forward quickly and at the same time frees up more bandwidth for employees to concentrate on more complex applications. Accela customers can integrate SolarAPP + with their Accela Building solution to expedite review and approval processes and track approvals from start to finish in a single system that acts as the central source of truth. The system was developed in collaboration with key code officials, AHJs and the solar industry to help departments use resources more efficiently and effectively by digitizing traditional paper-based and manual processes – including plan review and installation approval – out of the box for solar and battery projects.
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