Fast Company Recognizes Accela and NREL’s SolarAPP+ as a ‘World Changing Idea’

Highlights :

  • The technology reduces the solar permitting timeline from two weeks to instantaneous in some jurisdictions, automates the permit review process with assured compliance, provides virtual inspection options, and supports growing job opportunities in the field.
  • Accela COO says that through SolarAPP+ communities have already saved thousands of dollars and hours, and more solar panels are on roofs across the United States.

Cloud solutions provider Accela has announced that the online solar permitting platform launched in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) SolarAPP+ was selected by Fast Company for its World Changing Ideas Award 2022. SolarAPP+ implies ‘Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus.’

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The Fast Company World Changing Idea Awards honors products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet. Awardees are selected by a group of leading designers, venture capitalists, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and Fast Company editors based on their impact, innovation, design, creativity, ingenuity, and scalability.

Tom Nieto, COO at Accela, said, “Accela is honored to be recognized for our efforts with the National Renewable Energy Lab to improve solar permitting. SolarAPP+ was created to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for residents. A year later, communities have already saved thousands of dollars and hours, and more solar panels are on roofs across the United States. We are excited to continue to build on this momentum, and help our communities create future-ready environments.”

In April 2021, the NREL partnered with Accela to launch an instant solar permitting solution to make solar more affordable and accessible through its Civic Application for Building. The solution dramatically reduces the solar permitting timeline from two weeks to instantaneous in some jurisdictions, automates the permit review process with assured compliance, provides virtual inspection options, and supports growing job opportunities in the field.

In one year, 5,000 permits and more than 31,300 kilowatts of energy have been approved through SolarAPP+, showing the value of modern government technology in helping communities deliver better experiences to residents and become more efficient.

Dr. Jeffrey Cook, SolarAPP+ Project Lead at NREL, said, “The success of this partnerships shows automating clean energy technology permitting is not the way of the future it is here today. With projects being installed approximately 10 days faster, it is resulting in a win-win-win for local governments, homeowners, and contractors. We look forward to our continued partnership with Accela as more and more communities turn to SolarAPP+ to meet their permitting and clean energy objectives.”

As per the official statement of Accela, SolarAPP+ demonstrates how partnership between technology platforms and the government can address emerging needs and challenges. “Pima County and the City of Tucson, Arizona believe that all cities, states, counties, and localities must do their part in the fight against climate change, for healthier futures for all their residents. We use SolarAPP+ as an immediate, affordable, necessary step toward changing our current systems to usher in a greener future,” said Pima County Director of Development Services Carla Blackwell.

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