Colorado Energy Office launches grant program to help local and Tribal governments speed up approvals for solar projects

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Press Release: Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Media Contact: Ari Rosenblum,, (720) 910-1190

Automated permitting platforms streamline the permitting process to allow consumers to get their solar systems installed much faster

Statewide - The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) launched its Automated Permit Processing for Solar (APPS) grant program Tuesday. A total of $1 million is available to local and Tribal governments to help implement automated permitting software for solar projects. This software can verify code compliance and give feedback to the user in real-time, issuing permits for most residential solar projects in less than 30 minutes. In some jurisdictions, using this software could save consumers a month or more in processing time before beginning construction on a home solar project.

“As only the second state in the U.S. to roll out this type of grant program, Colorado is at the forefront of making solar faster and more accessible to install,” said CEO Executive Director Will Toor. “Assisting cities, contractors, and consumers in getting projects up-and-running faster will help make siting solar cheaper, and the APPS program will aid in this process.”

This program supports the state’s 100% renewable energy by 2040 goal by reducing residential solar permitting barriers for jurisdictions and accelerating the deployment of rooftop solar and storage. It also expands the ‘solar-readiness’ of Colorado communities so they can better take advantage of other local, state, and federal incentives for renewable energy.

These platforms save local and Tribal governments time and money by decreasing the need to manually review standard solar permit requests, allowing staff to prioritize more complex or nuanced permitting projects. In addition, these platforms decrease permitting errors, while ensuring code compliance, streamlining the permitting process, and maintaining the safety of solar systems.

In the City and County of Denver, which is already using automated solar permitting, approval wait times for solar permits have decreased from one month to near instantaneous approval and have saved hours of staff time. For example, in 2022, Denver city staff manually reviewed nearly 3,800 solar applications. With about 70% of those applications eligible for automated permit processing, the city estimates that automated processing would have saved 1,240 hours of staff review time.

Automated solar permitting software itself, including SolarAPP+ and Symbium, is free. This grant is meant to provide capacity support for local and Tribal governments to implement the software. Eligible costs for APPS grant funding include staff time and training, training for installers and developers, IT or consultant time, installation or integration fees, maintenance or subscription costs, and hardware or equipment. 

Applications for this program are now open until June 4 at 5:00 PM MT. CEO will award grants on a first-come, first-serve basis until funding is spent. Maximum funding awards will range from $40,000 - $100,000, depending on a jurisdiction's population. Interested jurisdictions can sign up to receive updates about the APPS grant and learn more on the APPS grant webpage.

CEO will also host an informational webinar on Wednesday, April 3, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MT, which will cover details about the APPS Program and the application process and provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions. Register here for the informational webinar.