April 19, 2023

How can building officials save time in permitting and inspection for the most basic solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage systems (ESS)?

Standard permitting and inspection processes for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage systems (ESS) can vary greatly across local jurisdictions, increasing costs and extending project timelines for building officials, contractors, and system owners. For many residential projects, including rooftop PV systems up to 15 kilowatts (kW) and in some cases for ESS up to 80 kilowatt-hours (kWh), a simplified process can ensure that projects are safe, effective, and in compliance with universally adopted construction codes.

To streamline permitting, building officials can download a six-step checklist covering the information required for permitting review, electrical requirements, structural requirements, and more. For field inspections, building officials can download checklists that address notable installation requirements for PV systems and ESS. The inspection checklists can be customized with state and local requirements. Bill Brooks, an industry expert and principal engineer at Brooks Engineering, drafted each set of checklists with support from the Sustainable Energy Action Committee, SolSmart, and IREC.

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Looking for further information about high performance buildings, energy storage, solar, and more? Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse for an expanded list of expert resources and CEU’s: