Oregon Solar Permit Services
Obtaining permits for your solar energy system can be a daunting process, involving lots of paperwork and potentially a few different departments. Fortunately, at Avila Solar, we are here to help and can assist you through the permitting process. We make it as easy as possible for you by having our team of experts who do this on a daily basis file for permits on your behalf.
If you are adding a solar energy system that will be tied to the power grid, the power companies, such as Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, who maintain the grid need to know that your system has been installed and wired correctly so that it will not cause safety or power draw issues. Utility companies will also confirm that the equipment you are using is certified for safety and quality.
Finally, the utility company will check that your local infrastructure can support the addition of your solar energy system. This may be an issue if your area is too saturated – for example if all of your neighbors have solar energy systems already in place and the addition of another one may overwhelm the grid.
Information that you will need to supply for the utility company includes the location of your utility meter, electrical panel, and the proposed location for your solar photovoltaic (PV) array, as well as the number, type, and capacity rating of the solar panels and inverters that you plan to install.
You will also need to speak to your Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), which may either be a City or County Building and Electrical Departments depending on where the project is located in Oregon.
You may need to have an engineer sign off on your roof, certifying that it can bear the additional weight of a solar PV array. It is best to review the Oregon solar specialty code checklist prior to starting the project to save you many trips to-and-from the building department.
If you need your permits ASAP, we can help. At Avila Solar, we offer an expedited solar permit service where for an additional fee, we will have your permits ready to submit in just two business days.
The main problem with the existing Oregon solar permitting process is that it’s not straightforward because there is no uniform process. Instead, there are several different governing bodies that must approve the project, including the city or county, the local utility company, and even homeowners’ associations.
Similar to how many Oregon solar incentives are administered, where the project is located will determine what type of permits and agreements are required to install solar panels. the guidelines that are required to follow. This varies by county and even by city, with different requirements and legislation.
Many local municipalities still do not offer an online permit process. This often creates long wait times and unpredictable fees involved in the plan review process as well. Those that do have quicker turnarounds.
On average, the cost of permits for a solar energy system in Oregon ranges from about $500 to just over $700. Specifically, if your project is considered prescriptive by the OSSC, the building permit portion will be less than if it’s non-prescriptive, which means that structural calculations and evaluations are necessary.
Fees may also vary based on the size of the project. For a prescriptive 3.5 kW solar system, the total fee for permitting is about $510 on average, while a non-prescriptive 3.5kW system permit costs about $655. For a larger 5.5kW system, the fees are about $579 for a prescriptive system and $724 for a non-prescriptive system.
At Avila Solar, we make it simple. For a flat $575* you may order a complete solar permit package which includes all the required building and electrical permits as well as any interconnection agreements.
*This does not include fees paid to the local AHJs. We are not responsible for paying these.
At Avila Solar, we offer several different affordable solar permit packages for residential projects, because we know that not every project is the same. To get started, all you need to do is submit a project request and pay a deposit, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible to begin your permitting process.
Commercial solar projects in Oregon vary so widely that we offer case-by-case pricing. There is no upfront cost to submit your information for a commercial project, and we will contact you as soon as possible with a price estimate. You may also call us at 971-249-8442 for quicker service.
‘Soft costs’ are the expenses associated with the process surrounding installing solar energy systems, such as permitting, inspection, interconnection to the grid, installation costs, and financing.
By bundling all of these services with a package from us at Avila Solar, we can save you money. We are experts in the solar industry and we make it our priority to find the most cost-effective methods to achieve your solar energy dreams. Contact us today!
Generally a residential permit application can be completed in about half a day, assuming you have your plans ready to go and all the information gathered for your potential project. Commercial permit applications can take an entire day, due to the often larger scale and more information required on the application.
Usually, no in-person visits to the building department are required. Most building departments accept online submissions. However, if an in-person submission is required, it usually only takes one visit.
Oregon state law does not allow HOAs to outright prohibit the installation of solar energy systems, as long as the system meets all state and local permitting requirements. However, HOAs are allowed to create “reasonable” rules relating to the placement and overall aesthetics of solar panels and other system equipment. Many HOAs are now expressly addressing solar energy systems in their Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) so that homeowners clearly know what to expect.