Resources

Welcome! The SolarOPs Resource Center connects you to the resources that best fit your needs. Aimed at local governments, resources are arranged sequentially to help along the solar process – Beginning, Financing, Planning, Implementing, and Training. There are also four document criteria definitions – Case Study, Video, Toolkit, and Date of Publication. Click the boxes below to view the resources in each category.

Website: Solar Panel Permits Webpage

Breckenridge (CO) has taken advantage of electronic materials, standardized permit requirements, and utilization of standard certifications to offer a short turn-around for solar permits, all of which is clearly communicated on their website.

To view the website, click here.

Sample Government Document: Solar PV Installation Standard, Philadelphia Dept. of Licenses and Inspections Permit Services Division

Philadelphia’s prescriptive path solution to solar permitting allows for certain solar electric projects to be approved with only an electrical permit (without requiring a building permit).

To view this document, click here.

Technical Report: Expedited Permit Process for PV Systems

In this report, Solar ABCs presents its recommendations to local governments concerning the expedited permit process for small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems and provides step-by-step guidelines explaining how to effectuate the necessary adjustments.

To read this report, click here.

Technical Report: Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting

This IREC report examines ways for both local governments and solar energy system installers to mitigate costs associated with the solar permitting process, focusing on three main areas: the pre-application period, application submition and review, and inspections. The report also contains specific examples of legislation designed to streamline solar permitting.

To read this report, click here.

Technical Report: A Comprehensive Review of Solar Access Law in the United States

This guide from Solar America Board of Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) provides a comprehensive review of solar access laws in the US, as well as a model statute and ordinance (page 12), both of which serve to help local governments in drafting their own solar access laws.

To read this report, click here.

Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy

This PAS Essential Info Packet brings together articles and guidebooks, comprehensive plan sections, and an extensive collection of sample ordinances covering solar access, solar energy systems, and more.

Take a look at the packet here.

Technical Report: The Pennsylvania Model Ordinance

The Pennsylvania Model Ordinance (found on page 12 of the pdf linked below) provides a model for local governments establishing reasonable standards in their development of small-scale solar. These standards center on permitting, height restrictions, and design and installation requirements.

To read this report, click here.

How-to Guide: Solarize Guidebook

The NREL’s “Solarize Guidebook” acts as roadmap for project planners and solar advocates trying to jump-start their own successful Solarize campaigns.

To view this guide, click here.

Sample Government Document: Oro Valley (AZ) Solar Residential Permitting Ordinance

This Oro Valley ordinance requiring installation of solar-ready measures in new residential homes demonstrates how to enable solar-ready designs through effective policy and legislation.

To view this document, click here.

How-to Guide: Solar-Ready Buildings Planning Guide

This National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) planning guide presents detailed guidelines on designing solar-ready buildings with minimized costs and maximized energy potential.

To read this guide, click here.