SolarNexus Uses $500,000 to Reduce Solar ‘Soft Costs’

March 12, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

SolarNexus has been awarded a $500,000 cooperative agreement from the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative as part of the SunShot Incubator Program, aimed at reducing non-hardware related costs associated with solar energy installations.

SolarNexus will use the award to build an integrated ecosystem of applications, using a common data exchange format to tie together disparate software tools used by solar contractors and others in the downstream solar market. The ecosystem will leverage the Integrated Energy Project (IEP) Model, an existing, publicly available data standard for the transfer of solar client and project-related information.

SolarNexus was a key member of the IEP Model development team, an effort funded by a grant from the California Solar Initiative. The IEP Model offers a common language for software applications in the solar industry to exchange data.

SolarNexus says teaching software to ‘talk’ to each other is critical to lowering solar soft costs. SolarNexus and its project partners will use the IEP Model to automate data transfers in use cases related to customer acquisition, design and engineering, permitting, and commissioning.

The project will leverage the existing DOE-funded SolarABCs Expedited PV Permitting standard. Some municipalities in Utah have adopted the Solar ABCs Expedited Solar Permit Process – a nationally standardized solar permit available on

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