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What Permits Should Be Obtained for Solar Installation in Durham and Who Gets Them?

Green Bolt

If you didn’t already know it, you ought to obtain multiple permits from relevant authorities before you can even begin installing a solar solution on your property.

Depending on the design and where you install the photovoltaic system, you may even have to obtain additional permits.

What permits to obtain? Whom to approach? Whose job is it to obtain these permits? You will find answers to these questions today.

Construction/Building Permit

A building permit is mandatory for beginning your solar project. This usually entails a thorough review of your roof condition and your electrical systems by the local AHJ (authority housing jurisdiction). The permit is approved only if your roof can support the additional weight of your solar system. You can get the complete list of information to be attached with your permit application from the local AHJ.

Electrical Permit

Along with the building permit, you are also required to obtain an electrical permit from the AHJ. Your application should supply relevant details like wire gauges, voltages, amperages, conduits sizing, and other information.

Your application should supply relevant details like wire gauges, voltages, amperages, conduits sizing, and other information. Sometimes, your local AHJ can contact you to get answers to some questions or doubts they might have about your electrical setup. 

Interconnection Permit

Off-grid solar systems can skip this one. This permit is only applicable to grid-tied systems. 

Utility companies want to ensure that your system is safe and code compliant before they allow you to connect to the grid. They do this by reviewing your component spec sheet and wiring diagram, among other things.

You’ll have to share this information with the utility company and submit an application for an interconnection permit.

You can begin installation once you obtain all the aforementioned permits, but you cannot start using the system just yet. After the installation is complete, you should submit another request to AHJ and your utility company to inspect and approve the installed system. A relevant officer will visit your location and review the system setup thoroughly before approving your system for use.

Now, you can start using your PV system.

Who Gets the Permits?

Your solar contractor can obtain all these benefits from the relevant authorities on your behalf. Generally, these permits take several weeks to materialize, and any deficiencies in the application can lead to further delays. Fortunately, solar contractors know what info to provide, and how to use standard kits & components that have been approved for solar installation. This expedites the process of obtaining permits.  Companies like Green Power Energy will even offer their technicians to sit through the inspections so you don’t have to take off work!


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