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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Applying For My Permit

A note for Homeowners: In general, your solar contractor will coordinate the necessary permits and inspections required for your solar installation. For information on how to choose a solar contractor, please visit http://energytrust.org/residential/find-a-contractor/solar/

The following information must be submitted when applying for a permit to install a solar electric or water heating system. Since every project is unique there may be situations where you will be asked to provide additional information.

  • Completed building permit application
  • Completed electrical renewable energy permit application and/or plumbing permit application
  • Simple site, architectural and structural plans indicating:
    • Location of PV or solar water heating system
    • Roof framing and module system racking attachment
    • Access requirements of section 304.9 of the Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code
    • Building height and PV system height.
  • Structural calculations prepared by an Oregon registered engineer verifying adequacy of the structure’s roof framing, strut or frame supporting the rails, attachment of the rail to the support, and the attachment to the structure’s roof framing.

OR

  • Completed checklist and submittal requirements for prescriptive installations if the system meets all the prescriptive requirements of the OSISC.

To submit for a permit, bring these forms, and two copies of site, architectural, and structural plans (for the area of proposed work and areas affected by such work) along with the permit fees to the Development Services Center.

Things to Consider

Electrical Plan Review
If the solar electric system produces more than 25 KW an electrical plan review will be required. Allow up to ten business days for this review to be completed. If electrical plan review is required, submit two copies of the plans containing the following minimum information:                    

  • One-line Diagram signed by Electrical Engineer or Oregon Electrical Supervising Electrician.
  • Site plan showing layout of the photovoltaic array.
  • Calculations (show all work, if applicable) showing the maximum photovoltaic system voltage, maximum photovoltaic source circuit currents, maximum photovoltaic output circuit currents, inverter output circuit current and the stand-alone inverter input circuit current.
  • System components manufacturers specifications sheets (“cut sheet”) of the module(s), photovoltaic wire, combiner box/disconnect(s), inverter(s), and any other components being installed in the system.

Interconnection with the Utilities

Regardless of whether or not your project requires electrical plan review, the Utilities (Pacific Power and Portland General Electric) will require electrical information before you apply for interconnection or net-metering. It is easiest to gather this information during the design phase of your project.

Portland General Electric requires an inverter specification sheet. In addition, your system may require a 24-hour accessible, PGE-lockable, AC disconnect switch based on its Maximum AC Output.

Service Type Maximum   AC Output Permitted without a Disconnect Switch
240 Volts,   Single-Phase, 3 Wire 7.2 kW
120/208 Volts, 3-Phase, 4 Wire 10.5 kW
120/240 Volts, 3-Phase 4 Wire 12.5 kW
277/480 Volts, 3-Phase 4 Wire 25.0 kW

If your site requires a disconnect switch, you will need to include:

  • One-line electrical diagram showing all protective devices between (and including) the net metering system and the PGE meter, and
  • Site plan showing the proposed location of the disconnect switch and providing the distance between this disconnect and the PGE meter. This distance is to not exceed ten feet (10’) unless other arrangements have been made with PGE.

Pacific Power requires an inverter specification sheet and a simple one-line diagram showing

  • The location of Pacific Power’s meter
  • The location of the disconnect switch 

You can find more information about interconnection with the Utilities at https://www.portlandgeneral.com/renewables_efficiency/generate_power/home/default.aspx and https://www.pacificpower.net/env/nmcg/osip.html.