New rooftop solar permitting process cuts wait time to 24 hours

Published on May 15, 2023


ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (May 15, 2023) – The Town of Oro Valley is pleased to announce a more efficient permitting process for Oro Valley homeowners looking to install rooftop solar. The Community and Economic Development (CED) Department recently implemented SolarAPP+, a web-based app that automates the permitting process. Previously, customers had to wait up to 10 business days for staff to complete the permit review and issuance process. With SolarAPP+, permits can now be issued within 24 hours because it automatically performs a compliance check based on inputs supplied by the contractor to ensure the proposed system is safe and code compliant.

When considering the fact that the Town issued 704 permits for rooftop solar in 2022, a tenfold reduction in process time equates to efficiency and savings for both the customers and the Town.

“The Town of Oro Valley prides itself on continuous improvement to help save residents time,” said Oro Valley Building Official Larry Merrell. “SolarAPP+ is a streamlined process that provides solar benefits to Oro Valley homeowners with the same high-quality review and inspection process in a fraction of the time.”

Oro Valley implemented SolarAPP+ after learning about a nationwide competitive program hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with a $15,000 award for successful implementation. The prize helped incentivize accelerated adoption of SolarAPP+. The competition, which had two steps to qualify for the prize money, was open to all counties, cities and towns across the country. Oro Valley was selected as one of 12 communities to participate.

Step one of the competition consisted of submitting information about Oro Valley’s current solar permitting process, solar permit volume, building code requirements and how SolarAPP+ would help achieve community goals and priorities. In phase two, CED developed a new streamlined permitting option with the Town’s current software to integrate with the SolarAPP+ process. The Town then had to submit proof that the SolarAPP+ program was adopted and successfully implemented.

The Town has met all the requirements for the $15,000 prize; however, prizes won’t be officially awarded until the step two implementation deadline at the end of June.

To learn more about this program, click here or visit and type SOLARAPP in the search bar.

SolarAPP+ (Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus), was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in collaboration with local governments, code development organizations, and industry stakeholders to help communities adopt an automated process for solar permits, lower costs and make solar more accessible to homeowners.