Can I install the system now and then get the funding?

In most cases you cannot install ahead of time and then submit an application and expect to be approved for funding.  There are procedures put in place for a couple of reasons.  First, to insure the end user is getting a system that performs and will offset their power along with following the proper installation code.  Second, for security to linemen that will be working on the utility grid when a power outage occurs.