Solar Permits through SolarAPP+ For Solar Installers
Contra Costa County SolarAPP+
Contra Costa County is implementing a new optional process for solar contractors to apply for and obtain building permits for qualifying residential rooftop solar systems within the County’s service area. This process is designed to issue permits faster than our existing process by using software called SolarAPP to review the permit application for building code compliance. Once the application has been approved through the SolarAPP website, a building permit application can be submitted to the County for faster review and permit issuance.
SolarAPP+ is designed to provide a code-compliance check for the majority of residential, roof-mounted, retrofit photovoltaic systems. To see which systems are eligible, please refer to the Eligibility Checklist for PV and PV+Storage. Only projects that conform to the checklists are eligible to use the automated SolarAPP+ portal for instant permitting. There is a $25 processing fee for the SolarAPP+ process in addition to the regular county building permit fees.
To learn more about PowerPermits in general, please visit our Power Permits - Solar, Generator, Energy Storage, and EV webpage.
Step 1: Eligibility to use SolarAPP+ for PV and PV + Storage
- Parcel must be located in Contra Costa County Unincorporated County or the cities of Clayton, Hercules, Lafayette, Orinda and Town of Moraga.
- Main dwelling rooftop permitted residential structures only.
- No Ballasted Systems.
- No Mobile Home Park installations.
- NOT located in a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area. Use FEMA Flood Map to search for parcels that are located in Special Flood Hazard areas and ineligible for SolarAPP+.
- NOT located in the Buchanan Field or Byron Airport Safety Zones. Use the CCMap site to search for parcels in an airport safety zone and ineligible for SolarAPP+.
- Property is NOT registered as a historic property.
- Parcel must have a valid street number and street name. Use the Look up Property Information search on the ePermits Center to verify the address. Parcels with 0 (zero) for street number or "No Address" for street name are ineligible for SolarAPP+.
- Must be a licensed contractor that has previously registered with SolarAPP+
- If you are a permit runner, you must register with SolarAPP+, take and pass these training classes:
Step 2: Submit for automated review through SolarAPP+
- To start using SolarAPP+, register and submit your design at https://solarapp.nrel.gov.
- A $25.00 processing fee (per project) will be charged by SolarAPP+.
- Download the SolarAPP+ Approval documents.
Step 3: Apply for Building Permit
- Register and apply on the ePermits Center
- Choose permit type "SolarAPP+ Approved Permit"
- Attach your SolarAPP+ Approval Document and manufacturer's specification sheets and installation instructions
- Submit your permit application and pay permit fees online
- The permit will be auto-issued and emailed to you in a few minutes. Add the email address [email protected] to your email contacts to avoid missed notifications
Step 4: Schedule an Inspection
- Schedule Inspections by Phone
- Call (925) 646-4108 to schedule inspection with automated phone system
- Schedule the "120 Building-Final"
- Same day inspections with automated phone system are accepted until 5:30 AM Monday-Friday
- Same day inspection requests left on a voicemail will not be scheduled
- Schedule Inspections Online
- Navigate and search for the permit number on the ePermits Center
- Click Record Info, then Inspections
- Schedule the "120 Building-Final"
- Provide a contact name and phone number for the day of the inspection
- Cancellations and reschedules can be done online before 6:00 AM on the day of the inspection
- If you have missed the cut off time to reschedule or cancel an inspection, call 925-646-4108
- Printed documents required onsite for day of inspection
- Complete AS BUILT plan set with manufacturer's specification sheets and grounding instructions. Minimum 11" x 17" printed paper size and in color.
- SolarAPP+ Approval document
- Permit Card (2 pages)
- *NOTE* Inspector will charge a re-inspection fee of $150.00 if the above documents are not present, not in the format specified or system is not installed as per the plans at the time of inspection.
SolarAPP+ Revisions Process
- If changing system components, submit a revision through SolarAPP+ first. Download the revised SolarAPP+ Approval document. If not changing any components but a revision to the permit is needed, skip to step 2.
- Log in to https://epermits.cccounty.us
- From My Records, navigate to the desired building permit and click Revision Request.
- If applicable, upload the revised SolarAPP+ Approval document to associated permit on the ePermits Center.
- Submit and pay the revision processing fee.
- Request will be reviewed by staff.
- What is SolarAPP+
- How do I register with SolarAPP+?
- How do I submit a project through SolarAPP+?
- What projects qualify to be submitted in SolarAPP+?
- Is there a limit on system size SolarAPP+ can review?
- How much does SolarAPP+ cost an installer to use?
- How do I make changes to approved plans?
- Contractors Guide: Being prepared for SolarAPP+ inspection
- Contractors Guide: Release notes
SolarAPP+ allows up to 3 revisions under the $25.00 fee. They must resubmit the application to SolarAPP+ and once the resubmittal is approved, they will receive a modified approval number, for example:
Once the contractor receives the new SolarAPP+ ID, they can upload this new document for their existing permit on by submitting a revision request on the ePermits Center. The County Inspector may charge any fees that are appropriate for the resubmittal, similar to the current process for re-inspection.
There will be no difference in the application for SolarAPP+.