New App Automates Plan Review for Home Solar PV Systems
Going solar just got a whole lot easier for homeowners in Oakland!
The City of Oakland is pleased to announce the launch of SolarAPP+ — a new online portal allowing most residential solar projects to obtain same-day permits, cutting approval time by an average of five (5) days!
Oakland's adoption of SolarAPP+ was made possible by a grant awarded by CalAPP to help the City meet its Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP) goals. In 2022, the City of Oakland issued 2,375 solar permits, taking an average of 5-7 days to issue. With the integration of SolarAPP+, the City expects to be able to issue many permits on the same day, reducing average approval times considerably.
SolarAPP+, short for Solar Automated Permit Processing, is an online portal that automates the plan review and process for issuing permits to qualified businesses or individuals to install code-compliant residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Based on model building, electrical, and fire codes, SolarAPP+ performs an automated compliance check based on details supplied by your contractor to ensure the proposed system is safe and compliant. Installation practices, workmanship, and adherence to the approved design are then verified by Oakland inspectors.
⇒ SolarAPP+ Project Eligibility Checklist: Eligibility PV (nrel.gov)
For this initial rollout, the City of Oakland will start with our top five solar installers by permit volume in the last fiscal year, which includes Tesla, SunRun, Freedom Forever, Semper Solaris, and Kota Energy Group. In the near future, we will be expanding SolarApp+ to all solar installers and adding energy storage systems and main service panel upgrades done under a solar installation.
⇒ SolarAPP+ Installers Webpage: SolarAPP+ | Installers Learn More (nrel.gov)