December 12, 2013 11:00 pm
The U.S. Energy Department recently announced eight teams to spur solar power deployment by cutting red tape for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems. Below are some points to keep you up to date on this key alternative energy development.
As part of the DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge, these teams in Broward County; at the California Center for Sustainable Energy; the City University of New York; the Clean Energy States Alliance of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont; the Iowa Economic Development Authority; Mid-America Regional Council (MARC); and Washington State Department of Commerce will receive about $12 million – matched by over $4 million in outside funding – to streamline and standardize solar permitting, zoning, metering and connection processes for communities across the country.
The Energy Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge is a part of a larger effort to make solar energy more accessible and affordable and position the U.S. as a leader in the rapidly-growing global solar market, according to a release.
The Challenge brings together city, county and state officials, regulatory entities, private industry, universities, local utilities and other regional stakeholders to address differing and expensive processes required to install and finance residential and small business solar systems.
During the Challenge’s first round, 22 regional teams worked to dramatically reduce the soft costs of solar, cutting permitting time by 40 percent and reducing fees by over 10 percent – making it faster and easier for more than 47 million Americans to install solar.
The eight new teams aim to further expand the reach of innovative strategies that are making it easier, faster and cheaper for more homeowners and businesses to finance and install solar systems.
The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, which runs the Rooftop Solar Challenge, is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.
For more information, visit www.energy.gov/sunshot.