IREC and our partners are committed to providing you with up-to-date, reliable, and vetted information that meets your needs. From 2022 to March 2024, our Question of the Week initiative provided weekly answers to clean energy questions from leading industry organizations under a U.S. Department of Energy “EMPOWERED” grant. While we are no longer adding additional questions and answers to this page, this library of questions contains a wealth of information for your reference. The answer to each question contains links to additional resources you can explore to learn more!

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Solar PV

SolarAPP+ is a web-based platform that streamlines the permitting process for solar energy projects. Solar permitting applications can be time consuming and resource intensive for local governments to review and approve. The high volume of these applications can lead to backlogs and delays in solar deployment. SolarAPP+ is a tool that helps accelerate solar deployment by allowing developers to check code compliance before submitting their designs for permit approval. This can help to reduce the workload for local governments and improve efficiency. The platform was developed and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 2019, and is now in use in multiple states and jurisdictions. 

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In this mini course, you will learn how to use the inspection checklist from the SolarAPP+ tool to efficiently and effectively inspect a rooftop residential PV system with an energy storage system (ESS).

Category: Solar PV
Tag: Solar
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Solar energy systems can sometimes face more complicated and costly permitting processes in areas where permit reviewers are less familiar with the technology. A simplified process can help streamline the permitting of most residential rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, including those with energy storage. This simplified process can help reduce informational barriers and ensure that all items in the inspection process have been adequately addressed before inspectors arrive on site.

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If you are a plan reviewer, inspector, or installer, these permitting and inspection guides from the New Buildings Institute provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of energy storage systems (stand-alone and paired with simple photovoltaic systems) in single-family, multifamily, and office buildings.

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Energy storage systems (ESS) are becoming more common across the country. When inspecting a PV + ESS, there can be a lot of system components to review, from the modules, to inverters and disconnects, to the ESS itself. To ensure a safe and correct inspection, it is valuable to understand the system components you will encounter and how to refer to approved plans and installation manuals.

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In this instructional video, you will learn from Chief Electrical Inspector Pete Jackson about the ins and outs of a solar PV system with a string inverter and a Tesla PowerWall in Bakersfield, California. This video course will help you educate yourself about the components of the system and related codes and standards, as well as permitting and inspection guides.

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Energy Storage Systems

Solar energy systems can sometimes face more complicated and costly permitting processes in areas where permit reviewers are less familiar with the technology. A simplified process can help streamline the permitting of most residential rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, including those with energy storage. This simplified process can help reduce informational barriers and ensure that all items in the inspection process have been adequately addressed before inspectors arrive on site.

Learn More

If you are a plan reviewer, inspector, or installer, these permitting and inspection guides from the New Buildings Institute provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of energy storage systems (stand-alone and paired with simple photovoltaic systems) in single-family, multifamily, and office buildings.

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Energy storage systems (ESS) are becoming more common across the country. When inspecting a PV + ESS, there can be a lot of system components to review, from the modules, to inverters and disconnects, to the ESS itself. To ensure a safe and correct inspection, it is valuable to understand the system components you will encounter and how to refer to approved plans and installation manuals.

Learn More

In this instructional video, you will learn from Chief Electrical Inspector Pete Jackson about the ins and outs of a solar PV system with a string inverter and a Tesla PowerWall in Bakersfield, California. This video course will help you educate yourself about the components of the system and related codes and standards, as well as permitting and inspection guides.

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Looking for further information about high performance buildings, energy storage, solar, and more? Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse for an expanded list of expert resources and CEUs:

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in partnership with the International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Association of State Fire Marshals, Slipstream, FSEC Energy Research Center, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory assembled these resources to provide you with up to date, reliable, vetted information and training related to existing and emerging technologies.