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Why Simplify Your Community’s Solar Permitting Process?

Permitting is one of the biggest roadblocks to solar growth at the local level. Across the 18,000 local jurisdiction in the U.S., the solar permitting process differs greatly and is often: expensive, time-consuming, and outdated.

By implementing a streamlined and more standardized permitting process, local governments make installing solar faster, easier, and more affordable for their staff, local residents and businesses, and solar companies.

For SolSmart participants, adopting the solar permitting processes outlined below will meet SolSmart criteria P-1/P-2/P-3/P-6/P-7.

Read more about the solar permitting process and how SolSmart can help.

See Streamlined Permitting Process Steps


What is a Streamlined Permitting Process?

  • The term “streamlined permit process” refers to an organized permitting process by which a majority of small photovoltaic (PV) systems can be permitted quickly and easily. It does not apply to all types of PV systems.
  • It is intended to simplify the structural and electrical review of a small PV system project, establish guidelines to determine when a PV project is within the boundaries of typical, well-engineered systems, and minimize the need for detailed engineering studies and unnecessary delays.
  • The streamlined process is not intended to circumvent the engineering process.



How to Develop a Streamlined Solar Permitting Process

The following steps are intended to provide a format whereby local jurisdictions and contractors can permit simple PV system installations. This format adheres to all International Code Council (ICC) Building, Residential, and Electrical code standards set for PV systems.  The Structural and Electrical Commentaries in Steps 2 and 3 provide background explanations for these guidelines.

Step 1: Gather Required Information for Solar Permit

Step 2: Structural PV Array Mounting Requirements Checklist

Step 3: Electrical PV System Requirements Checklist


Additional Resources