Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) with answers provided by SolarAPP+.
SolarAPP+ Frequently Asked Questions
SolarAPP+, short for Solar Automated Permit Processing, is an online web portal that automates the plan review and process for issuing permits to qualified businesses or individuals to install code-compliant residential, roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems. Based on model building, electrical, and fire codes, SolarAPP automatically performs a compliance check based on inputs supplied by the contractor to ensure the proposed system is safe and code compliant. Installation practices, workmanship, and adherence to the approved design are then verified through the inspection process.
If you are a licensed contractor or installer, you may register for a new SolarAPP+ account. (Non-licensed owner-builders must apply for a regular Building Permit with Plan Check.)
After you submit the registration form, you should see a pop-up screen that confirms your account registration. Before proceeding to submit project applications, you must provide the SolarAPP team your contractor license information, including numbers and expiration dates, for the each jurisdiction in you which you operate.
We will review the eligibility information and verify your contractor license in our system to complete the registration process. Once verified, you will be able to submit project applications in SolarAPP+ for addresses in enabled jurisdictions. Contact us if you have difficulty registering for an account.
If you still have questions, contact SolarAPP+ for assistance.
Projects must follow requirements outlined in the Eligibility Checklist to use SolarAPP+ for instant permitting. Listed below are the requirements that must be fulfilled in order to utilize the platform for automated project approval:
SolarAPP+ Photovoltaic Eligibility Checklist – September 7, 2021
- New Rooftop Residential Retrofit Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
- Installed by contractor with all licenses required by jurisdiction
- Limited to 2017 NEC
- 600V Max per DC System Size
- Single phase only
- No Aluminum Wires
- Must Use 600V rated PV wire (due to outer diameter > 0.24" (6.1mm))
- Must use 90 deg C rated insulated wire
- Max 2 DC strings in parallel
- Max 9 current carrying conductors in a raceway
- Inverter output circuit conductors must be THWN-2, or listed NM
- Terminals must be rated to 75 deg C, labeled for use with Cu wires, and accept minimum 8 AWG wire
- If using microinverter, 1 module per microinverter
- Permitted to install on up to or equal to 400A Service
- Permitted to install on up to or equal to 225A Service Disconnect
- Permitted to install on up to or equal to 225A busbars
- No existing PV or ESS
- May install only 1 module type
- May install up to 2 Inverters for String Inverters, up to 1 inverter type for Micro-inverters and AC modules Systems
- Conduit may not be Schedule 80 PVC
- Single Family Dwelling Only
- Modules and Inverters must be listed on CEC
- Rapid Shutdown cannot be satisfied using the method: No exposed wiring or conductive parts [690.12(B)(2)(3)]
- No trenching allowed
- All power production inverter outputs have the same point of connection
- All equipment is assumed to be non-continuous rated
- May install only 1 racking system type
- Height of rooftop conduit > = 7/8 inch
- Flat Plate PV Modules Only
- Applicable International Residential Code
- PV system + hardware weight is less than or equal to 4 pounds per square foot
- No ground mounted systems
- No carports or non-permanent structures
- No wood shake or wood shingle roofing
- Limit of 10 inches above the roof for pitched (>2/12) roof systems
- No metal roof or low-slope roof in areas with > 15 pounds per square foot snow load
- Applicable International Residential Code
SolarAPP+ developed the following instructional guide for contractors using SolarAPP+:
Installers will pay a small administration fee to use SolarAPP+. In turn, contractors will receive instant permits online for compliant applications, saving installers a significant amount of time and effort on every permit processed.
Administrative fees will be used to cover ongoing maintenance, customer support, technical assistance, and software development as the product moves to self-sustained commercialization and away from direct support from the Department of Energy (DOE).
After issuance, projects can be revised as many times as the contractor wishes prior to installation. After revisions are complete and the project is submitted, SolarAPP+ will then run another compliance check. If your updated system design is code compliant, the system will reissue your updated permit and alert Permit Sonoma with a revised Approval Document and Inspection Checklist.
The first three revisions are free of charge, while each subsequent revision would charge the installer a fee. If a revision requires payment of an additional fee, the revised permit is not issued until the fee is paid.