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Clean Power solar panels palo alto

Published on June 11th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Palo Alto Streamlines Going Solar

June 11th, 2013 by  

Palo Alto is a leader in so many ways. It is one of the best bicycle cities in the US, and it is also becoming a clear leader in solar (as well as many other things). Here’s more regarding its latest solar news via Solar Love:

Solar permitting, obsessively onerous, is one of the biggest obstacles holding back even faster solar energy growth across the United States. Several studies have identified this, and have identified permitting as one reason why solar power is about twice as expensive in the US as in Germany.

So, it’s great to hear that Palo Alto, CA (one of my favorite cities in the world) has just streamlined its residential solar permitting process. (Note: it is also one of just a few North American municipalities that has a solar feed-in tariff, the #1 driver of solar power growth around the world.)

Solar panels in Palo Alto. Admittedly, not residential ones. Photo Credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious / / CC BY-SA

Solar panels in Palo Alto. Admittedly, not residential ones. Photo Credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious / / CC BY-SA

Chris Meehan of SolarReviews writes: “Under the new system, residents and business owners’ plans for PV systems may receive approval within five days of submitting all paperwork to the center. In fact, if a home or business owner wants to make an appointment with the city’s Development Center and has all the necessary paperwork in order, they could even walk out with an approved permit the day they go in. In reducing the time for permitting, the city also consolidated the inspection process.”

Palo Alto staff also commented. “In the few months we have been piloting this program since we last met with the PVAC we have seen drastic improvements in approval and pass rates for both plan checks and inspections,” said Development Service Director Peter Pirnejad. “Projects are getting through our process quicker and with more predictable results.”

“Process updates such as this advance our efforts for a fully open government. This type of collaboration between city staff and developers facilitates a deeper level of interaction within our community,” said Palo Alto City Manager James Keene.

This is a great step forward, and one that cities and counties across the continent should copy. 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

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