As Solar Power International kicks off in California, the U.S. solar industry is taking a major step toward alleviating one of the biggest hurdles to installing solar on homes and businesses – cumbersome and inconsistent permitting and inspection processes.
Working on solar project is a multiyear venture that requires following regulations and gathering permits during each phase of the project. Search below for information overviews on specific topics to discover some of the regulatory nuances for particular jurisdictions. To help navigate the regulatory process and point you toward specific actions and permits, review the detailed flowcharts provided in the flowchart library.
Open Energy Information has a webpage of summaries and flowcharts to navigate solar regulations and permitting. The webpage informs users on land use, land access, power plant, transmission siting and construction, and water use regulations at the Federal level, as well as State level, for California and Nevada.
Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020.
Cutting costs has been the key to solar’s rapid expansion this decade. The lion’s share of cost reductions in the solar industry has come from reductions in module prices. The $4 per watt you’d have paid in 2006 for modules alone gets you the entire residential solar system installed today.
How Much Do Local Regulations Matter? Exploring the Impact of Permitting and Local Regulatory Processes on PV Prices in the United States
While PV modules and other hardware costs have dropped significantly over recent years, non-hardware soft costs have also fallen, but not nearly as sharply. This research report, authored by experts from Yale University, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin and the US Department of Energy, focuses on the impacts of city-level permitting and other regulatory processes on residential PV prices in the US. Key Findings:
The National Solar Permitting Database at www.SolarPermit.org was recently redesigned to incorporate feedback from dozens of stakeholders who had been beta testing the database since the prototype was launched last fall. SolarPermit.org now houses data on over 5000 AHJs, including in-depth information on the top 750 AHJs that account for over 60% of the residential solar market. Further, new features have been added to allow for more customization and communication using social media mechanisms.
This fact sheet describes the Right-of-Way approval process that federal agencies have developed to authorize use of public lands for utility-scale solar energy developments.
This factsheet provides a list of solar power projects that are pending or have received permits by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).