Standardized Process Makes Permitting Residential Photovoltaic Systems Easy

Las Cruces, NM – February 11, 2010 Energy savvy homeowners, builders, and local jurisdictions often encounter a long and costly process for permitting residential (small-scale) photovoltaic (PV) systems. The good news is that small-scale PV systems often share similar design characteristics, which supports the concept behind creating a standardized permitting process to save money and time. The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) has developed a standardized permit process for small-scale PV systems and recommends that local jurisdictions, installers, and national codes organizations implement this process.

The Solar ABCs report entitled, Expedited Permit Process for PV Systems – A Standardized Process for the Review of Small-Scale PV Systems, outlines the findings and recommendations. This study report describes a process that has advantages throughout the permitting cycle. Use of this process simplifies the technical requirements for PV contractors submitting an application for construction of a new PV system while also facilitating the efficient review of the application's electrical and structural content by the local jurisdiction awarding the permit.

"The permit process presented in this report was created to meet the needs of the growing, small-scale PV market in the U.S. and is applicable to local jurisdictions nationwide," said Mr. Larry Sherwood, Project Administrator, Solar ABCs.

The intent of the expedited process is to efficiently meet the engineering requirements by recognizing the similarities among these small-scale PV systems and establishing guidelines to determine when a PV project is within the boundaries of typical, well-engineered system.

An easy to use one-page permit form was created in the report and was devised to outline the process and define what qualifies for expedited permitting. An explanatory document accompanies the form so that contractors and local jurisdictions using the form have a description of how to provide the required information. The recommendation of this report is that local jurisdictions use this nationally standardized expedited permit process for awarding building permits to installers of small-scale PV systems. Download the full report:

About Solar ABCs
The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) is a collaborative effort among experts to formally gather and prioritize input from the broad spectrum of solar photovoltaic stakeholders including policy makers, manufacturers, installers, and consumers resulting in coordinated recommendations to codes and standards making bodies for existing and new solar technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy funds Solar ABCs as part of its commitment to facilitate widespread adoption of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar technologies.

For more information contact Mr. Larry Sherwood, 303-413-8028,