City First in State to Implement Solar Permit Software Program

Technology saves customers time and money, helps City with renewable energy goal

Brian Walker, Communications Manager,

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 3:23 p.m.

The City of Spokane has become the first city in Washington to launch a pilot project involving an online software platform for local governments to standardize, streamline and automate the solar permitting process for residential applications.

Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) allows for an instantaneous permit application review, reducing wait times for residential rooftop solar systems by at least two weeks.

“By implementing SolarAPP+ the Development Services Center is promoting the City’s commitment to increasing the use of renewable energy citywide,” said Tami Palmquist, Development Services Center Director. “The use of SolarAPP+ is another step the DSC is taking to make our permitting processes easier and more customer friendly and, in return, saving our homeowners time and money.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed SolarAPP+ in collaboration with the solar industry, code organizations, the building safety community and local governments.

The platform is expected to ease permitting requirements for installers without sacrificing safety and code compliance and let homeowners start saving money on energy bills sooner.

There is a $25 processing fee charged by the SolarAPP+ website for the automated review process. However, City plan review fees will be waived for projects reviewed through SolarAPP+.

Interest in solar systems in Spokane has steadily grown in recent years. The City issued 72 such permits in 2019; 76 in 2020; 207 in 2021; 591 in 2022 and 523 in 2023.

SolarAPP+ will become a permanent program offered by the City. Manual reviews of solar permit applications will continue to be offered.

 For more information, email or call 509-625-6300.