Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is one of the fastest growing and most affordable energy sources in the United States. It is also a key part of many states’ ambitious clean energy plans. 

A smooth deployment of solar projects depends on clarity of solar codes and standards so all key stakeholders understand what is required in the codes.

SEAC has produced and compiled numerous resources to help diverse stakeholders work more effectively with solar PV systems and resolve issues that stand in the way of deployment.

SEAC Resources

  • National Simplified Residential PV and Energy Storage Permit Guidelines help local governments develop an efficient and streamlined permit process for typical solar PV and storage projects, reducing unnecessary delays and cost while ensuring compliance with nationally recognized safety standards.
  • National Simplified Residential PV and Energy Storage Inspection Guidelines help local jurisdictions and contractors inspect simple photovoltaic (PV) system and energy storage system (ESS) installations where only a basic review is necessary.
  • Permitting Solar on Properties with Unpermitted Structures assists authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) with solar permitting on properties where structures have been built or modified without necessary documentation and approvals
  • Elevated PV Support Structures improve the clarity of code requirements in the 2021 International Building Code for overhead photovoltaic (PV) support structures, also referred to as solar shade structures, which are commonly constructed over vehicle parking spaces.
  • Rooftop-mounted PV Panel Systems notes exceptions in the 2021 International Building Code that mean roof-mounted PV systems, like elevated PV support structures, can be installed on top of a multi-story parking garage under certain conditions without impacting restrictions on number of stories, height or area.

    Third-Party Resources

    • Solar PV Safety for Firefighters, a training program developed by Interstate Renewable Energy Council, teaches the basics of how to operate safely when responding to an emergency at a solar-equipped site.
    • UL3741 PV Hazard Control: Standard Update, a presentation by Tim Zgonena, UL Principal Engineer, at SEAC’s April 22, 2021 general meeting discusses new UL efforts to ensure safety for firefighters responding to fires at buildings with solar PV systems.