In Vermont today a single basic registration form outlining the system components, configuration, and compliance with interconnection requirements replaces all permitting for ground or roof-mounted solar systems 10kW and smaller. The local utility has 10 days to raise any interconnection issues, otherwise a permit, known as a Certificate of Public Good (CPG), is granted and the project may be installed.
The simple statewide registration was expanded by lawmakers after a successful initial implementation and to better cover the capacity required of larger residential and small commercial installations.The simple statewide registration was expanded by lawmakers after a successful initial implementation and to better cover the capacity required of larger residential and small commercial installations.
“This new registration process is enormously helpful to local installers like me. It speeds up the installation process allowing us to avoid wasting time with costly delays for smaller scale installations,” said Rich Nicol, of Solartech, an installer in northeastern Vermont.
Many in the industry believe that cutting unnecessary “soft costs” of solar installation is a key to future cost-competitiveness.
David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, the Vermont manufacturer of the AllSun Tracker added, “We need to continue advancing policies that cut unnecessary red tape and costs for small-scale renewables. Doing so will drive down the barriers to solar, making it more competitive and leading to wide-spread adoption.”
A study last year by SunRun found that permitting adds an average cost of $2,500 to each solar installation and that streamlining the processes would provide a $1 billion stimulus to the solar industry over the next five years. The report finds that the additional installation cost — $0.50 per watt — is due to wide permitting variations not connected to safety, excessive fees, and an unnecessarily slow process.