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County Executive Marc Elrich and the Department of Permitting Services Announce the Launch of Expedited Residential Solar Permitting Process

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 26, 2021

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) announced the launch of a newly expedited residential solar permitting process that will make Montgomery County one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to pilot Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This new process supports County Executive Marc Elrich’s Climate Action Plan as well as the County’s goal of reaching zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. 

"Montgomery County's goals to combat climate change are the most aggressive in the State of Maryland and meeting these goals means greatly expanding the use of renewable energy," said County Executive Elrich. "SolarAPP+ will enable the County to streamline the solar permitting process, making it easier and faster for residents to generate solar energy on their rooftops. We are very thankful and appreciative to now have a presidential administration that is addressing climate change as seriously as we are."

The SolarAPP+ pilot will begin in August with large solar installers in the County. The use of SolarAPP+ is projected to reduce the review and processing time for solar installations. In order to fine tune all the processes necessary for solar installation, the pilot program will be rolled out in phases, with select installers. DPS will complete its evaluation of the pilot program in the fall.  At the completion of the pilot program, DPS anticipates submitting executive regulation to enable the use of SolarAPP+ for all solar permit applicants.

 “The Department of Permitting Services is pleased to work with SolarAPP+ to explore options that make our permitting services even more dynamic and customer centric,” said DPS Director Mitra Pedoeem. “With this pilot program, we will work closely with industry experts to make sure we provide not only faster permitting but continue to provide a high level of safety to our citizens.” 

In 2020, DPS earned the coveted SolSmart Gold Designation for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar and its commitment to improving the solar permitting process in Montgomery County. Under the current policy DPS is committed to completing solar permit reviews in five days. SolarAPP+ will enable the solar permitting process to be completed in a matter of minutes, another step in the county’s commitment to the Climate Action Plan.

SolarAPP+ is industry-supported through the Solar Energy Industry Association.

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Release ID: 21-580
Media Contact: Carmen Berríos Martínez 240-507-4129
Categories: Environment