Northwest Solar Communities, a team of jurisdictions, utilities, industry partners, and citizen groups facilitated by Northwest SEED, Washington Department of Commerce, Oregon Department of Energy, Solar Oregon and other groups, continues to work to make the process of going solar simple, fast, and cost effective for customers and the jurisdictions and utilities that serve them. NWSC's goal is to reduce the "soft costs" of going solar by standardizing the permitting and interconnection processes, creating business certainty for solar PV deployment across a broad area, facilitating the adoption of solar financing options to make solar energy affordable for all. Solar Washington will continue to provide updates as the group makes further headway. Solar Washington has been an active participant in this group.
Solar Washington has provided a report (PDF) summarizing its participation in the Northwest Solar Communities effort.
Resources from Northwest Solar Communities
Webinar on March 16, 2016: From Codes to Financing - Promoting Solar Ready Development in Washington
Solar works in Washington and it is no surprise that every year more and more citizens opt to purchase solar. Just this past year, the Regional Code Collaboration and the Washington Association of Building Officials proposed appendices to the State Building Code that regulates solar ready development. Kathleen Petrie, who helped spearhead the proposal, will walk jurisdictions through the updated appendices. Yet, despite the rapidly falling costs of photovoltaic equipment, great government incentives and pro-solar policies, the financial cost of solar is still too high for many. Fortunately, there are many financing options available. This webinar provided information on how to finance solar for residential homeowners and developers.
Webinar from January 19, 2016: Online Solar Permitting - Cost-effective Streamlined Permitting
Featuring Tracy Jones from MyBuildingPermit.com and Rob Chave representing the City of Edmonds. Download the file used during the webinar. (PDF 4.8MB)
NWSC has introduced the Solar Ready Toolkit (PDF), a set of templates and information to support jurisdictions, utilities, and installers in lowering solar soft costs. Toolkit elements include: