As part of its first round U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge grant work, DOER hired Navigant Consulting to review a sample of existing local permitting processes and develop recommendations file size 1MB and structural review guidance file size 4MB for small rooftop solar PV systems.
Permitting and Structural Review RSC II
Under RSC II, DOER is working with the state of Connecticut, an RSC partner, to compare and review each state’s model permitting documents. DOER has worked with the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Board of State Examiners of Electricians (BSEE) , and the Board Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR) to review and finalize Massachusetts model permitting guidance documents.
For building inspectors, DOER worked with DPS to develop a structural review guidance that provides a prescriptive process for structural approval of small PV systems. This guidance can be found here file size 4MB .
For electrical inspectors and wiring officials, DOER coordinated with the BSEE and BFPR to create a model guidance document for electrical inspectors and wiring officials when permitting for solar PV.
2014 Solar PV Permitting and Safety Trainings
DOER worked to coordinate regional technical and safety training sessions for inspectors and installers on solar PV. These training sessions introduced the Massachusetts model permitting process to the building and electrical inspector community, and served as a platform for inspectors to gain more knowledge about solar PV. Inspectors received credits from either the DPS or BSEE for attending these training sessions. They had the opportunity to directly connect with solar installers who work in their jurisdictions. Through these trainings DOER touched over 400 municipal inspectors.
Information on training dates and locations is available online .
2015 Solar PV Permitting and Safety Trainings
With the success of the 2014 trainings, DOER worked to coordinate a second series of technical and safety training with additional and more in-depth information. These trainings covered the RSC II model permitting documents as well as specific strategies for inspecting solar PV. Information on training dates and locations is available here .
The slides presented at these trainings are available here. file size 2MB
Solar PV Permitting Webinars:
As a part of the of the 2015 Solar PV permitting and safety trainings, DOER put together a series of webinars with more in-depth information on particularly pertinent training topics. Topics include considerations for aging solar PV system components, solar PV inspection techniques for municipal inspectors, and labeling requirements for solar PV systems. These webinars can be found below:
Labeling Requirements for Solar PV Systems - webinar file size 44MB
Fire Safety Solar PV Training Resources:
In conjunction with the Clean Energy States Alilance, and as a part of the RSC II program, DOER has developed a PV Fire Safety Training Module for use by fire instructors and firefighters. The module is designed as a three-hour slideshow. The module is available for free for educational purposes and may be downloaded from the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) website through the following link: www.cesa.org/resource-library/resource/pv-fire-safety-training-slides
Online Permitting Webinar
DOER hosted a webinar for municipal officials on different approaches to online permitting. Attendees heard from a municipality, regional planning authority, and private entity to learn about best practices and steps towards online permitting. The webinar presentation is available on DOER's webinar page.