Colo. solar permitting process lags nation’s

Filed under: Daily News |

The average fee for Colorado solar permitting is nearly twice as high and seven times longer than national permitting best practices, according to a report from the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association.

The association is using the report’s findings to push Colorado to adopt the standardized, streamlined solar permitting practices that are part of the Fair Permit Act of 2011.

“Removing red tape and unnecessary fees from the solar permitting process is one simple and effective way that local governments can support Coloradan investment in clean energy,” said Gwen Rose, Deputy Director of Vote Solar and lead author of the report.

The Solar Energy Industries Association also produced an interactive map that rates solar permitting practices. To view the map and read the full report, visit http://votesolar.org/solar-map/

The association says the Fair Permit Act (HB 11-1199) is designed to reduce Colorado’s local solar permitting costs and clear the way for increased in-state investment in solar and related economic development. Specifically, the Colorado Fair Permit Act would:

  • Extend existing $500 and $1,000 permit fee limitations to the plan review and permit issuance process for solar energy systems under 2-megawatts (MW) in size – these are currently set to expire on July 1, 2011
  • Reduce unnecessary costs by limiting’ plan review and permit issuance fees to their actual costs for solar energy systems larger than 2 MW in size.
  • Promote transparency by ensuring local governments clearly and individually identify all fees and taxes assessed on an invoice.