Denver Launches New Online Solar Permitting Platform


Denver has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to launch SolarAPP+, an online permitting platform for single-family and duplex solar projects.

The plan review software can run compliance checks and process building permit approvals for eligible rooftop solar systems. Solar photovoltaic (PV) applications are processed as “quick permits,” without the need for a city plan review.

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Licensed contractors register as an installer with SolarAPP+ and then submit project details through the tool. SolarAPP+ quickly reviews the information and returns a confirmation to the contractor, which the contractor then uploads to the city’s online e-permits system. The solar permit is then issued in real time.

“Adopting SolarAPP+ will save our customers a significant amount of time in the permitting process and help safely bring these important projects to the market quicker,” said Laura E. Aldrete, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development, in a statement. “We are always looking for ways to innovate and create more efficiency for our customers without sacrificing the quality of what’s being built or installed in Denver. This is a great example of the hard work our team has put into making permitting simpler and faster for our customers.”

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In 2022, Denver Community Planning and Development approved 3,738 solar applications, with average review times of up to 30 days before a permit was issued. Roughly 70% of those applications would have been eligible to use SolarAPP+ to obtain a quick permit, which would have saved city staff about 1,240 hours of review time.


  • Corey Dahl

    Corey Dahl is managing editor for Colorado Builder magazine. She has written for a wide variety of news and trade publications, in print and online. Corey has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master's in communications management from Webster University. She lives in Denver with her dog Rosie.


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