The 2022 Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Opportunity, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), seeks to develop next-generation solar technologies and strengthen American solar manufacturing. To do so, the prize helps accelerate the commercialization of innovative product ideas that enable continued solar cost reductions, especially in cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics.
In an effort to underground approximately 10,000 miles of power lines in high fire threat districts, PG&E is looking for ways to increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of undergrounding. The current process to obtain permits, approvals, and easements for undergrounding projects is time-consuming, burdensome and requires significant manual effort.
- Ability to aggregate and overlay disparate information for permitting or easements
- Auto-population or streamlined production of necessary permit and/or easement documentation
Category 6: Permitting / Easement Facilitation
The existing process of obtaining the necessary permits, approvals and easements for undergrounding projects is burdensome and time-consuming. Depending on the specifics of the project, the permitting process may extend the overall timeline by over a year. The multi-step document preparation process, manual and iterative nature of stakeholder engagement and lack of standardization of design requirements across agencies and jurisdictions all contribute to the lengthy timelines. Given that all projects require some level of permitting, there is an urgent need to improve the process as benefits will be felt across the entire portfolio of work.
Any solution that would reduce the time taken by permitting process is welcome. Possible approaches to this problem include solutions that help overlay data collected on a geographic information system (GIS) for the easement process, auto-population or streamlined production of necessary permit documentation or any other solution that reduces the level of manual effort required to complete the permitting process.
|Industrywide Market Gap||Potential Solution Category|
|Significant manual effort is required to |
populate, process and iterate on permit
and easement documentation
|Pre-population or automated
Automated compilation of information
from multiple sources
|Lack of standardized requirements across |
agencies and jurisdictions
|Ability to track or recognize varying
document requirements based on
location / agency / etc.
Known approaches not of interest
- Procedural / management solutions are not of interest.
Key success criteria
- Demonstrated improvement over current state-of-the-art technology
- Decrease in manual effort required to complete permitting / easement process
- Decrease in current timelines required to complete permitting / easement process by 35%
- Commercially deployable within 3 years