Clean Power Finance Announces National Solar Permitting Database to Reduce "Soft Costs" of Solar

Soliciting Industry Participation in Free Resource at Solar Power International 2012


Solar Power International 2012

SAN FRANCISCO--Clean Power Finance, the online marketplace for residential solar financing and leading provider of solar sales software, will unveil the initial prototype of the National Solar Permitting Database at Solar Power International 2012 (SPI) next week and solicit industry participation in the project.

The National Solar Permitting Database is designed to streamline complex and time-consuming solar permitting processes by aggregating permitting data and standards from Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) around the United States in a single online location. Installers and solar professionals will be able to search the database quickly for complete and accurate information on permitting requirements, saving themselves time and money and allowing them to focus on selling more solar. The database, supported by a $3MM grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, will be available to the entire industry for free.

"Permitting is a widely recognized pain point in the solar sector, but we think this project can change that," said James Tong, director of government programs management at Clean Power Finance. "Collecting permitting information in a database that is available to all solar integrators without charge will dramatically improve time and cost savings for both solar professionals and AHJs and help lower the overall installed cost of solar."

The database relies on solar professionals and AHJs submitting permitting information for the areas in which they operate: the more participation, the more comprehensive and useful the database will be. A number of key industry players from a variety of solar industry sectors have already signed up to participate, including Paramount Solar, SunWize Technologies, Next Step Living, B.E. Solar, PvPermits and Real Goods Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: RSOL). Real Goods contributed data covering 5,500 zip codes.

"We're very happy to help Clean Power Finance with the National Solar Permitting Database," commented John Schaeffer, founder and residential president at Real Goods Solar, Inc. "We believe this program will help significantly in sorting out the confusion from numerous jurisdictions around the country, thereby reducing cycle time, design and administration costs. Ultimately, we will be able to set better expectations with customers, which will foster profitable growth in new solar markets."

A wide variety of AHJs and service providers have also committed to support development of the database. Burnham Energy, a national service provider for solar installers, and AHJs from states as disparate as Wisconsin and California recognize the potential time and financial benefits of the project and are happy to contribute data.

"The current, state of solar permitting represents a challenge for everyone involved in the process, including AHJs, installers and homeowners looking to go solar," said Carla Din, director of the East Bay Green Corridor, a partnership that is working with nine cities totaling over 950,000 residents in the San Francisco East Bay to standardize permitting and inspection processes for rooftop distributed generation (DG) solar projects. "AHJs faced with limited budgets and time, reduced staff and increasing demand for DG solar will also benefit from a smoother, more informed permitting process. This is an excellent opportunity for AHJs and solar professionals to work together to make information-sharing easier."

Third-party organizations and entities, including Vote Solar and various Rooftop Solar Challenge teams across the U.S., are also collaborating on the project, which will assist with their own ongoing efforts to streamline and standardize solar permitting processes.

Mr. Tong and Clean Power Finance team members will be demonstrating and explaining the National Solar Permitting Database at the Clean Power Finance booth, #3849, during SPI in Orlando the week of September 10. Mr. Tong will also be co-facilitating SPI's "Permitting – DG Scale" solar idea swap on Tuesday, September 11, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in room 308B at the Orange County Convention Center.

To learn more about the project or how to contribute, visit us at SPI or email permitting@cleanpowerfinance.com.

About Clean Power Finance

Clean Power Finance is driving the mass-market adoption of residential solar by building an online business-to-business marketplace to connect the solar industry and the capital markets. Clean Power Finance provides solar professionals, including marketers, installers, manufacturers and distributors, with access to a variety of non-exclusive, white-label residential finance products and an easy-to-use solar sales quoting and design tool. The company's transparent pricing makes it easy for financial firms and lenders to invest in residential solar projects that provide reliable rates of return. Founded in 2007, Clean Power Finance is venture backed by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB), Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures and Sand Hill Angels. To learn more about how Clean Power Finance can accelerate the growth of solar businesses, please visit www.cleanpowerfinance.com.

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