WASHINGTON — As part of its SunShot Initiative, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $12 million in new funding aimed at streamlining and standardizing local permitting, zoning, metering, and connection processes. The initiative also strives to improve finance options to help lower costs for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems.

This funding will help support innovative, locally driven projects that will make it easier for solar-energy businesses to operate efficiently and pass their savings to customers while creating new jobs and business opportunities across the country.

This funding opportunity, called Rooftop Solar Challenge II, is part of a broader DOE effort to spur solar power deployment by making it easier, faster, and cheaper to finance and install solar energy systems. The funding builds on the success of the Rooftop Solar Challenge, announced in June 2011.

This funding focuses on scaling up the most effective approaches while also driving new innovations that further reduce permitting, installing, and interconnection costs and times. This funding will support two-and-a-half year projects led by approximately 10 teams that already have demonstrated local successes in reducing the soft costs of solar and have developed a promising plan to rapidly deploy effective techniques, tools, and standards at a larger scale.

Publication date: 1/28/2013