Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Permit Process

Solar Photovoltaic Installations 10 kW or Less in One- and Two- Family Dwellings
This information is to guide applicants through a streamlined permitting process for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects 10 kW in size or smaller. Below you will find information about submittal requirements for plan review, required fees and inspections.

1.    Approval Requirements

 The following permits are required to install a solar PV system with a maximum power output of 10 kW or less:

  a) A building permit is required.


2.    Submittal Requirements

 a)  Completed permit application form. For a permit application, click here.

 b)  Demonstrate compliance with the eligibility checklists for expedited permitting.

 c)  A completed Standard Electrical Plan. The standard plan may be used for proposed solar installations 10 kW in size or smaller.
 Solar PV Standard Plan - Simplified Central/String Inverter Systems for One- and Two-  Family Dwellings 
 Solar PV Standard Plan - Simplified Micoinverter Systems for One- and Two- Family Dwellings

If standard electrical plans are not provided for use, an electrical plan should be submitted that includes the following.

·        Locations of main service or utility disconnect

·        Total number of modules, number of modules per string and the total number of strings

·        Make and model of inverter(s) and/or combiner box if used

·        One-line diagram of system

·        Specify grounding/bonding, conductor type and size, conduit type and size and number of conductors in each section of    
   conduit

·        If batteries are to be installed, include them in the diagram and show their locations and venting

·        Equipment cut sheets including inverters, modules, AC and DC disconnects, combiners and wind generators

·        Labeling of equipment as required by CEC, Sections 690 and 705

·        Site diagram showing the arrangement of panels on the roof or ground, north arrow, lot dimensions and the distance
   from property lines to adjacent buildings/structures (existing and proposed)

d)    A roof plan showing roof layout, PV panels and the following fire safety items:
approximate location of roof access point, location of code-compliant access pathways, PV system fire classification and the locations of all required labels and markings.

Examples of clear path access pathways are available in the State Fire Marshal Solar PV Installation Guide.
http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/reports/solarphotovoltaicguideline.pdf.

e)    Completed expedited Structural Criteria along with required documentation. Structural Criteria can be downloaded here.
 
For non-qualifying systems, provide structural drawings and calculations stamped and signed by a California-    licensed Civil or Structural Engineer, along with the following information.

·        The type of roof covering and the number of roof coverings installed

·        Type of roof framing, size of members and spacing

·        Weight of panels, support locations and method of attachment

·        Framing plan and details for any work necessary to strengthen the existing roof structure

·        Site-specific structural calculations

·        Where an approved racking system is used, provide documentation showing manufacture of the rack system, 
   maximum allowable weight the system can support, attachment method to the roof or ground and product
   evaluation information or structural design for the rack system.

 

3.    Plan Review
       Permit applications can be submitted to the Building Department in person at City Hall. Permit applications
       utilizing standard plan may be approved “over the counter” at the Building Department.  Permit applications may also be submitted
       electronically through the Plan Check Center.

        Permits not approved “over the counter” should be reviewed in one to three days. 
 

4.    Fees
       Residential solar plan review and permit fee not to exceed: $500.00.

5.    Inspections
       Once all permits to construct the solar installation have been issued and the system has been installed, it must be inspected
       before final approval is granted for the solar system. 

        On-site inspections can be scheduled by contacting the Building Department by telephone at (714) 593-4429.
        Inspection requests received prior to 3:00 p.m. are typically scheduled for the next business day. 
        If next business day is not available, inspection should happen within a five-day window.
 

        Permit holders must be prepared to show conformance with all technical requirements in the field at the time  of  inspection.     
       The inspector will verify that the installation is in conformance with applicable code requirements and with the approved plans.

       The inspection checklist provides an overview of common points of inspection that the applicant should be prepared to show
        compliance. If not available, common checks include the following

        Permit holders must be prepared to show conformance with all technical requirements in the field at the time of inspection. The 
        inspector will verify that the installation is in conformance with applicable code requirements and with the approved plans.

  

The inspection guide provides an overview of common points of inspection that the applicant should be prepared to show compliance. 

For questions regarding this permit process, please consult the Building Division at (714) 593-4429.