Solar Farm

Commercial Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

Information on the permitting and inspection process for non-residential solar projects.


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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

This page provides applicants with a pre-submittal checklist for the permitting and inspection application process when applying for the installation of a commercial/non-residential Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System.

Before Submitting an Application

Detailed code review will not begin until application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. It is important that all required information is submitted for a project and it is the applicant’s responsibility to be informed on the prerequisites below: 

  1. You must begin work on your project within six months of permit issuance. If work has not begun after six months, the permit will expire.
  2. After work begins, if work is discontinued for a period of 12 months, the permit will immediately expire.
  3. To establish a Solar Farm/Solar Station, which is allowed per UDO Section 6.1.4. as a Minor Utility, and is further regulated by UDO Section 6.3.3.A.1.c. as a "Sustainable Energy System", an Administrative Site Plan will be required.
  4. The Electrical Permit is applied for through the non-residential permit by listing the electrical subcontractor’s information.
  5. You are required to provide Notice of Lien Agent unless exempt: https://www.liensnc.com.

Prepare Application Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for this project type:

  1. Non-Residential Permit Application
    1. Non-residential rooftop solar PV systems are permitted in all major zoning districts and allowed to exceed the zoning district defined maximum building height regulations by up to 12 feet, per UDO Section 1.5.7.D.2.g. The UDO regulations for ground mounted solar PV systems can be reviewed in Section 1.5.4.D.2.b.  To apply for a permit for a ground mounted solar PV system on a property with an established use complete the Non-Residential Permit Application and select "Other" as the "Work Type".
  2. Plans to include:
    1. A minimum of the PV array, inverters, combiners, controllers, solar array mounting system, riser diagram, and wiring schematic.
    2. Provide rooftop fall protection, clearance, and egress when roofs are publicly occupied.
    3. Include a copy of Appendix B for the applicable items.
  3. Site plan 
  4. Specification sheets and manufacturer’s installation instructions for all manufactured system components that make up the Solar PV System.
  5. Third-party approvals are to be submitted on the NC Department of Insurance Office of the State Fire Marshal Appendix G.
  6. Notice of Lien Agent, unless exempt: https://www.liensnc.com.

Submittal Instructions

At this step your application materials should be ready to assemble. Please take note of the instructions below, applications that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted:

  1. Only PDF file types will be accepted unless other file types (such as image, Excel, or CAD) are specifically called for as part of the application submittal process.
  2. .ZIP files are not allowed.
  3. Only one file should be associated with each discrete document included with the application package. For example, if an application requires 1) an application form, 2) a set of plans, 3) a calculation report, the applicant should transmit these as three separate files.
  4. City of Raleigh limits email attachments to 30 MB. To send larger files, you may send a file-sharing link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to a folder with all required documents. Staff must be given direct access to your files and cannot accept links that require access codes, passwords, or logins.
  5. Submit all files (or file-sharing link) via email to CommercialBuilding@raleighnc.gov.
    1. Email subject line should read "New Submittal"

Tips for Submitting Solar PV PDF Files:

  1. Submit one PDF of the Non-Residential Permit Application
  2. Submit one PDF of the complete plan set to include:
    1. Minimum of the PV array, inverters, combiners, controllers, solar array mounting system, riser diagram, and wiring schematic;
    2. Provide rooftop fall protection, clearance, and egress when roofs are publicly occupied.
    3. Include a copy of Appendix B for the applicable items.
  3. One PDF of specification sheets and manufacturer’s installation instructions for all manufactured system components that make up the Solar PV System.
  4. One PDF of Lien Agent Notice (if required).
  5. One PDF of remaining supporting documents.

Project Review and Permitting

 

  1. Customer Service Center staff will review your application and supporting documents for completeness and create a case number for tracking. Applicants will be notified by email when a project is processed. Standard review times are available to view online. Plan review comments can be viewed any time via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.   the permit application, they will review them for completeness and create a permit number for tracking.
  2. Your project will then be routed for review by all internal development review teams. This is a 3 day review cycle.
  3. Upon the review cycle approval, a Permit Advocate will create an invoice for payment and upon payment, the permit will be activated.
  4. The permit holder can schedule an inspection via the permit portal. This inspection which typically will be the final inspection.
  5. A Certificate of Compliance will be available after the design professional structural installation documentation and the Building Official’s approval.

Paying Fees

The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.  

A  fee calculator may be used to obtain an estimate of some building and trade permit fees.

Contact

 

Customer Service Center
Email us!

919-996-2500

Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - Commercial

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