SolarTech’s Solar3.0 Process Innovation Platform Selected as National Standard

U.S. Department of Energy awards National industry consortium $2.5 million for a scalable national platform to develop model codes, standards, rules, and processes that will enable reduced deployment times and costs for solar PV installations.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--SolarTech, a non-profit industry consortium with a mission to remove non-hardware, process related cost-barriers to acceleration of U.S. solar markets has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to deploy Solar3.0 – A National Platform for Process Innovation to Deliver PV.

Solar3.0 delivers process innovation through standardization of local land use, zoning code ordinances, permitting processes and interconnection rules for distributed PV. The team will leverage existing Department of Energy work such as the Solar America Board of Codes and Standards, the Solar America Communities team, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)-led Solar Instructor Training Network-Regional Training Providers, and others. SolarTech will build upon this work, conduct technical analysis, training, and stakeholder engagement to develop and promote widespread adoption of best in class tools for permitting, inspection, and interconnection by states, utilities, local jurisdictions, and federal agencies.

“This is a great accomplishment for our team and the organization,” says Doug Payne, SolarTech’s co-founder and Executive Director. “It is an even greater honor to be selected by the Department of Energy as a national platform for process innovation, targeting the removal of hundreds of millions of dollars of market friction over the next few years. We are very excited about the opportunity.”

The Solar3.0 platform goal is to achieve a 50% reduction in non-hardware BOS costs across approximately 90% of the U.S. solar market in targeted solar communities by 2014 through development and implementation of innovative, scalable regulatory approaches and process enhancements across multiple levels of government and industry.

It is a high leverage investment of DOE funds to catalyze rapid solution paths to achieve SunShot BOS soft cost reduction goals by 2014, create new jobs and save existing ones. The Solar3.0 platform intends to drastically reduce the overhead cost of installing solar projects that will spur economic development, create jobs and provide direct value for communities nationwide.

The Solar3.0 Team is made up of National, Regional, and Industry Partners including: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), UL University (ULU), the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), The VoteSolar Initiative, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), SRA/International, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), East Bay Green Corridor (EBGC), Solar Sonoma County (SSC), along with leading industry partners SunPower, Mainstream Energy, Burnham Energy; OnGrid Solar, SolarNexus, and SierraClub. SolarTech will guide the project through Benchmarking, Development, Implementation, and Market Impact phases at national, state and local/regional levels.


Operating at the intersection of industry, consumers, local governments, and utilities SolarTech provides the path to make solar happen through better tools enabling the industry to execute faster at lowest possible cost, accelerating the growth of solar energy at the state and local level. On behalf of our 120 members, Board, and partners, our mission is to develop, deploy and disseminate best practices and standards that make mass adoption of solar a reality through our core initiatives: workforce development, financing, performance, installation, permitting, and interconnection. For information on SolarTech, visit

About SRA International, Inc.

SRA is dedicated to solving complex problems of global significance for government organizations serving the national security, civil government, health, and intelligence and space markets. Founded in 1978, the company has expertise in such areas as cyber security; disaster response planning; enterprise resource planning; environmental strategies; energy systems and sustainability; IT systems, infrastructure and managed services; learning technologies; logistics; public health preparedness; public safety; strategic management consulting; and systems engineering. SRA employs approximately 7,000 employees serving clients from its headquarters in Fairfax, Va., and offices around the world. For additional information on SRA, please visit

About Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL): UL is an internationally recognized product safety testing, certification and standards development organization. UL is a leading product certification company in the renewable energy industry and the preferred choice of U.S. regulatory officials. As a global leader in standards development, UL publishes the UL standards for safety for the U.S. market and actively participates in developing global International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) standards. UL University (ULU) is UL’s wholly-owned subsidiary is respected globally in instructional design for general professionals, local governments and private industry.

About International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI): IAEI has been a core leader in the electrical industry, actively integrating such diverse groups as inspectors, testing agencies, standards organizations, manufacturers, distributors, installers and contractors, since 1928. From the beginning, the association has focused on promoting safe products, code-compliant installations, and thorough inspections. A natural outgrowth of this focus has been total immersion in the code development process, both through investments and through membership in each code-making panel during each cycle. Additionally, IAEI has concentrated on offering comprehensive training and certification in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Recognizing a scarcity of good materials, IAEI began developing and publishing various publications and training presentations, established a train-the-trainer program and has co-branded two online training programs. IAEI will utilize its experience in developing model codes, standards, rules, and process in both an advisory role and through interfacing with AHJs.

About Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI): Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit think-and-do tank. RMI emphasizes integrative design, advanced technologies, and mindful markets in fulfilling its mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI’s strategic focus is to map and drive the U.S. transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by 2050. RMI will measure the project’s impact through an interactive model showing project impact in areas such as adoption, market coverage, and cost reduction and work with DOE to ensure information is easily accessible for purposes of analyzing and ranking permitting processes based on the time, cost, predictability and user-friendly characteristics associated with each; and the appropriateness of the proposed quantitative metrics for evaluating project impacts on process time improvements and BOS cost reductions.

About ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA): ICLEI USA is the leading membership association of cities & counties committed to climate protection, clean energy, and sustainability. For nearly 20 years ICLEI USA has been delivering tools, resources and services to help local governments achieve their goals faster and more effectively. In 2010, ICLEI USA was selected by DOE to conduct technical outreach to local governments across the country to educate them about how they can use the best practices of communities participating in DOE’s Solar America Cities program. ICLEI USA’s network of nearly 600 cities, towns and counties, will serve as a bridge between the Project Team and local governments by leading the outreach, education and training effort with local governments, and play a supporting role in the benchmarking and development of tools and resources to enable rapid adoption by local governments.

About East Bay Green Corridor: The EBGC’s eight-member cities (including Berkeley, a Solar America City), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have committed to implementing a regional standardized solar energy permitting process. They will contribute data from within Green Corridor cities, recommend policy guidelines, serve as a beta testing ground and pilot sites, taking into account resource constraints and geographic factors within eight local governments, and offer solutions which may serve as a model for other local governments.

About Solar Sonoma County (SSC)-SSC, in partnership with the City of Santa Rosa, is the only countywide SAC. SSC will address the unique concerns of a multi-jurisdiction beta and pilot area by working with governments to address local system requirements and needs. SSC will bring a variety of City and County processes for government adoption, including policy changes to develop transition plans for implementations serving as a countywide model for local governments going through this process or contemplating standardization.

About Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA): SEPA will represent utility stakeholders’ perspectives by leveraging over 700 utility and solar industry members, assisting in convening stakeholders and consensus building via broad communication to gain adoption of project solutions at the appropriate utility level. SEPA also provides numerous forums to convene utility leaders for developing awareness about Solar3.0 model codes, ordinances, standards, and best practices.

About Vote Solar: Vote Solar works to promote scalable solutions to enable to use of solar energy. Vote Solar’s vast network and experience in outreach to AHJs at municipal and state-level entities makes them a valuable team member to help promote the implementation of solutions crafted in Phase 2.

About Sierra Club: Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself as the largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Sierra Club will partner with SolarTech in a campaign first in California, and later nationally, to work with our 1.3 million supporters in urging local governments to make it cheap and easy for residents to go solar. The Sierra Club’s local volunteer base is passionate about solar, and with a presence in all 50 states, we have a unique opportunity to advocate for simpler solar standards at the local level leveraging the Solar 3.0 Project Team to develop the best tools, model guidelines, and proposed standards for which our activists should be advocating.

About University of Missouri: The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public university west of the Mississippi River with a reputation of excellence in teaching and research, and is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. The University of Missouri will deliver a vastly improved model solar access statute for use by state governments; a separate model solar access ordinance for adoption by municipalities; accessible guides to educate state and local government officials about the model statute and ordinance and the legal and policy theories supporting them.

Industry Partners – The following partners will play a critical role in the dissemination of solutions across the US through our various solar installer/dealer networks, providing feedback to the core team, and fine tuning strategies to standardize broadly across Permitting, Inspection, Interconnection, and Zoning best practices as developed by the team.

About Burnham Energy: Having obtained over 50,000 permits nationwide and 1,000 for PV systems specifically, Burnham Energy has the experience to help in both an advisory role and in interfacing with AHJs. Burnham’s use of digitized repositories of AHJ information also makes them both a potential contributor and likely user of the Solar3.0 program outputs.

About SunPower – SunPower designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar cells, panels and systems available today, with guaranteed performance and 25 year lifetimes. We are the largest manufacturer of installed commercial and residential systems in the U.S., providing complete EPC, financing and development services as well as an extensive nationwide network of over 400 dealers providing high-quality, expert installation and services in 41 States.

About Mainstream Energy - Mainstream Energy Corp. is the parent company of REC Solar, Inc., an industry-leading solar provider specializing in grid-tied residential and commercial installations, and AEE Solar, Inc., one of the country’s largest distributors of renewable energy systems and equipment. With a local presence in all major solar markets and more than 6,000 systems installed, REC Solar and AEE Solar are committed to lowering the cost of solar power through efficient processes, innovative products and outstanding customer service. Our companies are headquartered in San Luis Obispo, CA and employ more than 600 people.

About SolarNexus –SolarNexus is the solar industry’s leading provider of web based solar business management software solutions. SolarNexus has a track record of leadership and innovation in its core products, and has successfully pioneered industry building software initiatives for a more efficient and cost effective solar industry. These efforts include the management and maintenance of and the creation of an industry communications standard for solar software systems.

About OnGrid Solar - OnGrid Solar mission is to help the solar industry develop as in a rapid, yet predictable way by providing expertise in the financial payback analysis of solar photovoltaics. Standardization of Permitting, Inspection, and Interconnection related business process across the US market reduces costs, improves the confidence of financial analysis tools, lowers prices in a predictable way, and expands local markets by lowering barriers to entry by smaller companies which we serve.


Doug Payne, 408-768-0449

Release Summary

U.S. DOE awards SolarTech $2.5 million for a scalable national platform to develop model codes, standards, rules, and processes that will enable reduced deployment times and Solar PV BoS costs.


Doug Payne, 408-768-0449