Solar Energy System Permit

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A Solar Energy System permit is required for all solar photovoltaic systems, including roof mounted and ground mounted systems. The Solar Energy System permits are available online via the Permitting Web Portal.

You may apply for a permit online at permits.harrisonburgva.gov

If you have any questions or need further information, please call 540-432-7700 or email us at permits@harrisonburgva.gov

 

Design Criteria

The City of Harrisonburg has adopted the following codes:

  • 2018 Virginia Residential Code (VRC)
  • 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC)

The following local design criteria should be used: 

  • Wind Speed – 115 ultimate
  • Snow Load – 42.5 ppsf
  • Frost Depth – 24”
  • Soil Bearing – 1500#

The applicant must show proof that the addition of the panels to the roof would not cause excessive loads outside the roof’s design parameters.

 

Residential Rooftop Solar NEW!

Certain residential rooftop systems may be processed through the expedited permit system SolarAPP+. Review the Eligibility Checklist to determine whether your project qualifies for expedited processing. SolarAPP+ includes an additional fee of $25 to support SolarAPP+ updates.

To learn more about SolarAPP+ visit the SolarAPP+ Information page.

 

Submitting a Solar Energy System Permit

All Solar Energy System permits are available online at permits.harrisonburgva.gov. In addition to completing the online form, you will have to submit:

  • Manufacturer Specifications
  • HEC Approval Letter
  • Site Plan – If submitting for a ground-mounted system

 

Permit Fees

Permit fees are based on the value of the work and start as $60.00 for the first $2000, plus $6.00 for each additional $1,000.00 or fraction thereof. An additional 2% State Levy is assessed.

 

Review Process Timeline

The Department of Community Development, Building Inspections Division is committed to providing a timely review of solar permit applications. Solar permit applications are reviewed for compliance with:

  • Zoning Ordinance 
  • Building Codes 
  • Electrical Codes

Best efforts are made to review completed solar applications within 14 days. These turnaround times are typical, not guaranteed. The Building Inspections Division has a staff of dedicated individuals, but workloads, holidays, vacations, and sick leave can cause unforeseen delays that may impact turnaround time. Certain circumstances that can prolong the permit turnaround time are: 

  • Applicant did not submit all required information
  • Applicant is not a licensed contractor (some exceptions apply)
  • Equipment is not listed
  • Applicant is not timely in making re-submittals or providing additional information

 

Inspections

You may schedule an inspection online at permits.harrisonburgva.gov or by phone at 540-432-7700. Please allow 24 hours advance notice for any inspections. Most rooftop mounted systems will require one (1) inspection visit. The inspector will inspect for compliance with:

  • Building Codes 
  • Electrical Codes

Ground-mounted systems will require a footer inspection prior to installation.

Please review the Solar Field Inspection Checklist [210KB]PDF for more information regarding inspection guidelines.


To report any problems with the links or other content on this page, please email Nyrma.Soffel@harrisonburgva.gov.