House with Solar Panels

What is SolarAPP+?

SolarAPP+, short for Solar Automated Permit Processing, is an online web 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 automatically performs a compliance check on inputs supplied by the contractor to ensure the proposed system is safe and code compliant. Installation practices, workmanship, and adherence to the approved design are then verified by the AHJ through the inspection process.

How is SolarAPP+ different from typical permitting?

 Traditional permitting requires installers to submit a plan set (i.e. a site plan and an electrical plan) that is then reviewed by plan check staff at the jurisdiction before a permit is issued. This process can take 5 - 10 business days on average and in some areas much longer. If an application needs to be corrected or revised after the permit is issued, the process may need to start all over again. SolarAPP+ does not require a site plan or an electrical diagram. Rather, the software requires the installer to input information related to the system design that can then be evaluated for code compliance. If the system is code compliant, the applicant can then proceed to get an instant permit after payment. If the system is not code compliant, the contractor is notified instantly regarding why the system could not be approved. To learn how to input a system into SolarAPP+, you can complete the IREC input training

Is there a limit on system size SolarAPP+ can review?

 SolarAPP+ is for rooftop residential solar systems. While SolarAPP+ does not specify a limit for the system’s total rated wattage capacity, there are technical limits on the power rating of service panel equipment, and these are enforced by SolarAPP+.  Projects may be permitted to interconnect to a maximum main service rating of 400A, and service disconnects and busbars rated for a maximum of 225A. Within these parameters, SolarAPP+ can approve systems up to 38.4 kW provided they meet certain installation characteristics. If any project components exceed the above specification thresholds, the project will be designated as ineligible by the SolarAPP+ platform. See the Eligibility Checklist for more information.

 How do I submit a project through SolarAPP+?

Before you can submit a project through SolarAPP+, you must first register and take the How to Use SolarAPP+ For Rooftop Solar Projects training, developed by IREC, which will show you how to submit a project through SolarAPP+. Once completing this training module, you will receive a certificate documenting your successful completion of the training, which you can then send to NREL, and your account will be enabled to submit projects in any jurisdictions where you are licensed. The training should take about an hour, and only needs to be completed once.

If the project you want to submit also included energy storage systems (such as batteries), you must register and take the How to Use SolarAPP+ For Solar and Storage Projects. This will walk you through the process of submitting solar + storage projects in SolarApp+, as well as help you identify which systems and projects can be approved through the platform.

Can Homeowners Use SolarAPP+?

Homeowners planning to install their own systems are not allowed to use SolarAPP+, unless the homeowner is a licensed contractor with the appropriate licenses within the state and community to perform the work.

How to Use SolarApp+

Step 1: Create or Log in to Existing Account

Step 2: Submit project in SolarAPP+

  • Submit your project through SolarAPP+.
  • Pay the processing fee charged by SolarAPP+. The fee is currently set at $25.
  • Download the approval documents. You will need to upload them into the City's online permitting portal when applying for your permit.

Step 3: Apply for Permit

  • Log in to Permit Center Portal  HB ACA.
  • Create a Residential Photovoltic System record in the portal. You will be asked to upload your submittal documents (Permit/Asbestos Disclosure Form), including those you downloaded from SolarAPP+.

Step 4: Pay for Permit

  • Pay all permit fees online through the Permit Center Portal HB ACA.  

Step 5: Request Inspection

  • Request an inspection through the Permit Center Portal  HB ACA.

SolarApp+ FAQs

 Training Required

You will need to complete this training and provide the certificate of completion for PV