Apply for Solar Energy Systems & Facilities

Solar energy systems are any solar collector, solar energy device, or structural design whose primary purpose is to provide for the collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy for space heating, electric generation, or water heating. Before installing a solar system or facility, you must submit a completed permit application along with all required documentation as outlined.

Before you Start

Please review the Permit Requirements below as these vary from project to project.

Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.

What to Do

Permit Requirements

  1. Step One: Solar System Permit

    Be prepared to provide the following:

    • Site plans ​(clearly identifying the street and driveway)
    • Roof plans (clearly identifying required Fire access paths and location of street and driveway)
    • Framing details
    • Structural calculations (required for ballasted, ground-mounted, or elevated systems)
    • Information on your mounting system
    • Self-Certification Checklist (to be completed through the Online Permit Center)

    For solar PV or thermal systems:

    Apply Now
  2. Step Two: Building Permits (As Applicable)

    For ground-mounted, elevated systems and/or large storage tanks:

    • Ground-mounted and/or elevated systems and/or large storage tanks also require a separate Building Permit. Submit a Building Worksheet through our Online Permit Center. In the Worksheet, upload all associated documents
    • Main electrical service panel replacement, subpanels NOT dedicated to a PV system, and energy storage systems also require a separate Electrical Permit. Click on the relevant link here: Commercial/Non-residential | Residential
    • Energy storage systems with a capacity greater than 20 kWh also require approval from the Fire Prevention Bureau. Please contact for additional information
  3. Step Three: Application Review

    Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your plans. If your plans require corrections or if we need further information, we will contact you. If your plans are approved, we will contact you to issue your permit. For the latest processing estimates, please see our Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times webpage.

Need to Know


Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit & Services Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.


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