Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)’s laws, SB 379, the Solar Access Act, handed each homes of California’s legislature and was signed into legislation by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The invoice implements instantaneous, on-line photo voltaic allowing in cities and counties. This laws will drastically lower approval instances for residential photo voltaic and photo voltaic + storage techniques, lower allowing prices for native governments and householders and assist California meet its greenhouse gasoline emission discount objectives. SB 379 is co-sponsored by SPUR and Atmosphere California. Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) is a coauthor of the invoice.
Local weather change is a dire menace, and California should speed up its transition to scrub vitality as a way to meet its goal to turn out to be carbon impartial by 2045. Widespread set up of residential photo voltaic techniques has helped push California in direction of these objectives. Nevertheless, whereas the price of photo voltaic expertise has decreased lately, the excessive prices related to set up — together with native allowing and inspection necessities — have remained prohibitive for a lot of. Delays as a consequence of lengthy allow and inspection wait instances additionally harm photo voltaic implementation throughout the state. Automated allowing solves each of those points; the Photo voltaic Entry Act will enable California to implement a well timed and complete answer.
The Nationwide Renewable Vitality Laboratory (NREL), a undertaking throughout the U.S. Division of Vitality, has created a free-to-use program to assist native governments with residential photo voltaic and photo voltaic + storage system allowing. SolarAPP+ supplies a web-based portal that streamlines and automates allow opinions and will be simply applied into present native authorities allowing software program. The Photo voltaic Entry Act requires cities with greater than 5,000 residents, counties with greater than 150,000 residents, and all cities inside these counties, to implement instantaneous on-line allowing for photo voltaic and photo voltaic + storage techniques, by way of packages like SolarAPP+. The requirement will go into impact beginning September 30, 2024, for cities below 50,000 residents, and September 30, 2023 for cities, counties and cities and counties over 50,000 residents. The requirement additionally applies to constitution cities. The California Vitality Fee (CEC) has created the CalAPP program to deploy $20 million in grants to assist cities and counties undertake on-line automated allowing techniques corresponding to SolarAPP+.
NREL first launched SolarAPP+ in late 2020 and has slowly expanded this system’s capabilities. Many native jurisdictions, together with Nice Hill, Sonoma County, San Jose and Los Angeles have already begun implementation of automated allowing with nice success. Nice Hill has diminished their common allow overview time to zero days (same-day approval) since adopting SolarAPP+ for instantaneous automated allowing.
“It takes method too lengthy to get permits for clear vitality,” mentioned Senator Wiener. “For the way forward for our planet, we have to make it simpler to put in photo voltaic panels and vitality storage on properties throughout the state. The Photo voltaic Entry Act will assist California obtain our local weather objectives.”
Information merchandise from the Workplace of Senator Wiener