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Model Streamlined Permitting Process

GA Solar’s Streamlined Solar PV Permitting Process for Residential and Small-Scale Commercial Applications



GA Solar is leading the effort to bring a more comprehensive and sensible permitting process and best practices to Georgia. Through a collaboration of local industry stakeholders and researching best practices and process throughout the US, GA Solar officially adopts a model streamlined permitting and best practices. For local governments, a model solar permitting process will serve as a resource to ensure safe, compliant installations while reducing permit processing times and facilitating local economic development. For residents and developers, a standard, streamlined permitting process will help reduce installation times and soft costs of solar. 


The majority of residential and small commercial solar PV systems installed in Georgia share many similarities of design that make it possible to standardize a streamlined model permitting process for small-scale solar PV systems. Originally promulgated through Solar America Board for Codes and Standards, the following permitting framework and best practices was developed through a collaboration of Georgia solar PV experts and industry stakeholders to be used by Georgia governments as a tool to promote residential and small commercial solar PV and economic development in Georgia.



Important Definitions:

-       disconnecting means - A device, or group of devices, or other means by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from their source of supply
-          inverter -  A device that converts direct current electricity to alternating current either for stand-alone systems or to supply power to an electricity grid.
-          photovoltaic(s) (PV) — Pertaining to the direct conversion of light into electricity.
-          photovoltaic (PV) array — An interconnected system of PV modules that function as a single electricity-producing unit. The modules are assembled as a discrete structure, with common support or mounting. In smaller systems, an array can consist of a single module.
-          photovoltaic (PV) module — The smallest environmentally protected, essentially planar assembly of solar cells and ancillary parts, such as interconnections, terminals intended to generate direct current power under unconcentrated sunlight.
-          photovoltaic (PV) system — A complete set of components for converting sunlight into electricity by the photovoltaic process, including the array and components.
-          string — A number of photovoltaic modules interconnected electrically in series to produce the operating voltage required by the load.
-          utility-interactive inverter — An inverter that can function only when tied to the utility grid, and uses the prevailing line-voltage frequency on the utility line as a control parameter to ensure that the photovoltaic system's output is fully synchronized with the utility power.



Eligibility for Streamlined Permitting

1.       The structural installation of the systems meets the following criteria:

a.       the array is mounted on a code-compliant structure;

b.      the mounting structure is an engineered product designed to mount PV modules with no more than an 18-inch gap beneath the module frames; and

c.       the array has a distributed weight of less than 5 lbs./ft. and less than 45 lbs. per attachment.

2.       The electrical design of the system can be described using the supplied standard electrical diagram and meets the following criteria:

a.       PV modules and utility-interactive inverters are identified for use in PV systems;

b.      the installed PV system capacity is 25 kW or less;

c.       The ac interconnection point has a service disconnecting means that meets NEC 690.64(B); and

d.      all products are listed and identified for the application (i.e. modules, inverters, etc.).



Required Information for Streamlined Permitting:

1.       Site plan showing location of major components on the property. This drawing need not be exactly to scale, but it should represent relative location of components at site.

2.       Electrical diagram showing PV array configuration, wiring system, overcurrent protection, inverter, disconnects, required signs, and ac connection to building (see supplied standard electrical diagram).

3.       Specification sheets for all major manufactured components including, but not limited to, PV modules, inverter(s), and mounting system.


Streamlined Application Submittal and Review

1.       Over-the-counter permit application,

a.       applications may be submitted in-person at the Office of Buildings,

b.      a review decision shall be rendered within 30 minutes once a complete application is received by the Office of Buildings’ staff.

2.       Online or electronic permit application,

a.       applications may be submitted by email or through a web portal,

b.      applicants shall receive a response within 24 hours once a complete application is received by the Office of Buildings’ staff.


Permitting Fees

1.       PV systems found eligible for an streamlined permit shall be subject to a flat-fee rather than a value-based method to access permit fees.

2.       Fees should fairly reflect the time needed for city staff to review and issue a permit

3.       A reasonable permit fee should be a flat fee of $250 or less.


Licenses and Certifications

1.       The business or person installing the PV system must hold a valid Electrical Contractor's License issued by the State of Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board (103.4).



1.       Inspection requests received before 3pm will be inspected within 2 business days after inspection is scheduled.

2.       Applicants shall be able to schedule an inspection appointment for a specific time range not to exceed two hours.

3.       Inspector will conduct a single comprehensive review including inspection of electrical, structural, and fire safety together.





       Permitting Best Practices 

  1. *​Post requirements online
  2. *Streamlined review - one person
  3. *Enable online processing
  4. *Fast turn-around time
  5. *Fair, flat fees
  6. *No community specific license needed
  7. *Single consolidated inspection
  8. *Narrow inspection appointment window 

Model Streamlined Permitting

click on the links below

Solar ABC's Report Overview

Solar ABC's Full Report 

Application Form & Detailed Explanation



Application Examples


String Inverter 

Supply Side Connection






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