The Story of PV Permit Design

In the fall of 2013, Derek Mitchell and Michael Palmquist were discussing their respective projects. Derek explained that he was creating features in that would automatically complete the balance of system design for a basic design of arrays and source circuits. Michael was working on a concept for a SunShot grant to jump start use of an existing, machine readable data specification for the solar industry (the IEP Model). The two realized that Derek’s BOS design software was another great use case for the IEP Model. If Derek’s software could read and write IEP Model data, then any other software that did basic system design of arrays and source circuits could submit their basic designs to Derek’s software over the internet and simply and quickly get permit level design documentation generated almost instantaneously, and in the process, help both installers and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) to streamline the permitting process.

The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded SolarNexus a SunShot Initiative grant to tackle solar soft-costs. SolarNexus and partners will use the award to build and demonstrate the industry’s first integrated software system, using a common data exchange format to tie together separate software tools used by solar contractors and others in the downstream solar market. By reducing the amount of administrative time required to sell and manage projects, the project will help to reduce the overall cost of solar project deployments which will drive faster adoption of renewable energy. learn more>>


More on the Project’s Participants:


SolarNexus Inc is the project lead for the PV Permit Design project which is partially funded by a SunShot grant award by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

SolarNexus provides a streamlined solution for solar business management. SolarNexus’ web-based sales and project management software helps contractors profitably manage projects, organize client data, and collaborate with team members. The software accelerates the process of selling, installing solar and other energy-related systems. learn more>>


SolarDesignTool is a PV system design software for installers. SolarDesignTool is partnered with
SolarNexus to bring the time and cost of PV permitting down for both AHJs and installers. The PV Permit Design software will be integrated with SolarDesignTool and SolarNexus but will also be available to the public no matter which design tools you use. learn more>>



Bill Brooks, Profession Engineer (PE), is an expert in PV system requirements and an experienced solar industry consultant. He was also a key participant in the California Solar Permitting Guidebook, which builds upon his earlier work as author of SolarABCS’ Expedited Permit Process for PV Systemsa standardized process for the review of small-scale PV systems. Mr. Brooks is validating all PV Permit Design software outputs including electrical calculations and SLDs.  learn more>>


The Department of Energy’s SunShot program provides partial funding for technology like the IEP Model that holds promise to significantly reduce soft costs in the solar industry.  learn more>>