SolarAPP+ In Colorado

A Modern Solution to Permitting

Modern solar systems are structurally common and predictable, creating a unique opportunity for local governments to streamline their rooftop PV permitting process. 

Industry experts such as the Interstate Renewable Energy Council recommend that local governments adopt an Automated Permitting Process (APP) which can return permits instantly. 

However, not all communities have the time and resources to develop their own automated permitting solution. That’s where SolarAPP+ comes in. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, SolarAPP+ is an APP that communities can adopt for free to unlock their solar potential. 

Photo Courtesy of Buglet Solar Electric

Colorado’s Need for SolarAPP+

Slow permitting slows adoption. Complicated and onerous permitting processes drive away solar installers, confuse homeowners, and add soft costs to the cost of solar. In 2019, the Solar Energy Industries Associated determined that direct and indirect costs of permitting residential solar contributes to the cost of an average system by $1/watt – that’s around $6,000-$7,000 per system.)

Colorado won’t be able to reach it’s emissions reductions goal without substantial adoption of residential solar. To foster the necessary residential solar adoption, it is essential that local governments take bold action and adopt modern permitting solutions like SolarAPP+

How SolarAPP+ Functions

SolarAPP+ turns permit review into a direct question-and-answer format. These questions ask questions regarding the electrical, structural, and fire safety of the system. Along the way, the system will be calculating the answers to ensure the code compliance of the project.

The system is responsive, and any answers that fall outside of compliance will not allow the installer to proceed with the permit. The system can catch minor errors, typos, or miscalculations this way and ensure that only code complaint systems are approved. This saves local governments the additional time it takes to make corrections on permits and wait for them to be re-submitted.

Still want to know more? Check out SolarAPP+’s official website here, or COSSA’s SolarAPP+ FAQ here.

The Minds Behind SolarAPP+

SolarAPP+ was developed through a collaborative effort between NREL, the solar industry, and building and safety experts including UL, the International Codes Council, The National Fire Protection Association, and the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.

How Does COSSA Fit In?

As the solar and storage leader in Colorado, COSSA is fighting for no-nonsense, streamlined permitting in Colorado. COSSA is working to get local governments on board with SolarAPP+, through outreach and onboarding assistance.

COSSA members can assist in SolarAPP+ outreach by publicly supporting the permitting platform on social media and helping COSSA understand the current permitting situation of the authorities having jurisdiction that you work in.To learn more, or to get involved, contact