Report | 2012

Developing Solar Friendly Communities: Permitting, Interconnection, and Net Metering: An Overview of Model Standards and Policy Design Criteria

By Jesse Morris

Over the past several years, procedures and policies surrounding permitting, inspection, interconnection, and net metering of distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems have been the subject of extensive analysis and scrutiny, given their substantial contribution to solar costs. This ongoing period of critical analysis has produced a wide variety of process innovations and model standards capable of streamlining processes for local governments and reducing solar PV costs. As a member of the Colorado-based “Solar Friendly Communities” team under the Rooftop Solar Challenge, Rocky Mountain Institute evaluated a number of these standards, innovations, and policy design criteria and developed some specific recommendations. This document surveys a subset of existing permitting, interconnection, and net metering processes and is meant to serve as an initial point of inquiry for interested local governments and communities.