Are you considering going solar? Well, before you can harness the power of the sun, there’s an important step you can’t afford to skip: obtaining a solar permit. This crucial requirement is essential to get approval for your solar project. The process may seem daunting, as it involves approvals from your local building authority and electric company. Be prepared for a time-consuming journey, as solar permitting can often take longer than expected.
Fortunately for you, you don’t have to go through this process alone because Equip Engineering can support you every step of the way. We’re Solar Engineering experts who specialize in providing businesses and individuals in Florida with reliable solar permitting support. We understand the challenges and uncertainties that can arise when it comes to securing your solar permit, so if you have any questions that aren’t answered within this article simply contact us. So, without delay, let’s dive into the details of how to get a solar permit.
How to Get a Solar Permit in Florida
To secure your residential solar permit, you’ll need to follow a few steps. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of the process you need to follow in order to get a solar permit in Florida. Be sure to follow these steps closely to avoid running into unexpected issues.
1. Engage with the Local Authorities:
The first step is to engage with your local authorities, specifically your local building department. They will provide you with the specific requirements and regulations that apply to your municipality. Keep in mind that rules can vary slightly between different counties and cities.
2. Comprehensive Permit Application:
To begin the permit application process, you need to prepare a comprehensive application. This includes obtaining signatures from both the property owner and the contractor involved in the installation. It is also crucial to have the signatures notarized to validate the application. Additionally, you must submit a set of plans signed and sealed by a Florida-licensed engineer.
3. Anticipate Review and Feedback:
Once you have submitted your application, the building department will review it. Be prepared for feedback, suggestions, or requests for additional information. Adjustments may be necessary to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.
4. Evaluate Installation Location and Adhere to Restrictions:
After a successful review, the building department will approve your application. You will then be issued a building permit that outlines the requirements and guidelines for the installation. It is important to carefully evaluate the installation location and adhere to any restrictions imposed by local regulations. These restrictions may include limitations on the placement, size, type, or orientation of the solar panels.
5. Grid Connection and Supplementary Permits:
Additional steps may be required if you plan to connect your solar system to the local electrical grid. This typically involves obtaining supplementary permits and undergoing further inspections. It is crucial to comply with all safety and electrical codes during this process.
6. Stay Updated:
Keep in mind that solar panel installation regulations can change over time. It is important to stay updated by regularly checking with local authorities for any updates or changes in the permit process. By taking a proactive approach, you can ensure that your installation remains compliant and avoids potential legal complications. Now that we’ve broken down the steps involved in getting a solar permit in Florida, let’s discuss the key stakeholders usually involved in most solar permit application processes.
Who Is Involved In the Solar Permit Application Process?
Several stakeholders and agencies are involved in the solar permit application process. Their collaboration is crucial for successful approval.
The enforcing agency, typically a local permitting agency, plays a key role in reviewing and approving the permit application. Contractors, who install the solar energy system, often submit the permit on behalf of the building owner.
Additionally, the fire department, building department, and Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) may be involved in the review process. The required documentation for the permit application can vary, ranging from a simple list of equipment to more extensive site plans and solar project drawings.
In many cases, professional engineer stamps are required on the solar drawings to ensure compliance with electrical and structural codes.
Collaborating with these stakeholders is essential to navigate the permit application process successfully.
What Happens If A Solar Permit Gets Denied?
If a solar permit is denied, it is important to understand the reasons behind the denial and explore possible avenues to address the concerns and reapply.
Sometimes, the denial may be due to minuscule breaches resulting in the project not meeting code requirements. In such situations, modify the project to comply with the regulations in place.
Additionally, if the denial is related to an HOA, it is crucial to determine if solar access laws in the state protect the customer’s rights.
For concerns regarding historic buildings, installing solar panels and conduits in a way that obscures them from the front of the house or using building-integrated photovoltaic products can help mitigate the issue.
In cases where commercial solar farms are blocked due to zoning restrictions or concerns about farmland development, alternative approaches like grazing sheep or planting native wildflowers can address these concerns.
A Look into Commercial Solar Permits
The requirements for obtaining a commercial solar permit can vary depending on the size and scope of the project. Commercial projects, especially large ones, often have more extensive permitting requirements compared to residential projects.
These requirements may include providing one-line diagrams and conducting a land use review for large ground mount systems. Additionally, commercial solar projects may involve the participation of state or federal agencies.
For example, if the solar system is to be installed on a capped landfill, permission from the Environmental Protection Agency may be required to ensure the integrity of the landfill cap is maintained.
It is important to thoroughly research and understand the specific permitting requirements for commercial solar projects in the desired location to ensure compliance with all necessary regulations and agencies.
Partner With Florida’s Premier Solar Engineer
Navigating the solar permitting process can be intricate, especially in the Sunshine State. But you don’t have to tread this path alone. With a proven track record of over 3,000 successful projects and a deep-rooted understanding of Florida’s unique solar demands, Equip Engineering is your go-to partner for your residential and commercial permitting needs. From Miami-Dade to Broward counties, we’ve tackled the most stringent high wind code requirements and have consistently delivered unparalleled solar solutions.
Don’t leave your solar dreams in the dark. click here to Contact us today and let our Florida-specialized solar permitting expertise guide you every step of the way.