Reporting from Solar Power International (SPI) 2012, the solar industry’s annual conclave.
Even before arriving in Orlando, Florida for the four-day trade show, educational conference, and networking extravaganza, GTM was seeing announcements indicating that solar manufacturers and developers are thinking about the potential strength in numbers.
The most ambitious effort spotted so far is the Clean Power Finance (CPF)-led effort to organize information contributed by solar industry installers and other stakeholders across the country into a National Solar Permitting Database.
CPF hopes to use a $3 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant and its own resources to create a comprehensive online database of local permitting standards. If the industry cooperates, CPF Senior Director of Government Programs James Tong believes, the database could lead to a cut in the balance of system (BOS) non-hardware (soft) costs of installing a five-kilowatt (DC) residential rooftop solar system of more than $0.22 per watt.