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County of Santa Clara and SolarAPP+ provide near instant PV Solar permits for Residential Rooftop systems and Energy Storage Systems.

The County of Santa Clara has partnered with SolarAPP+ to provide contractors with a permitting option that allows them to get near instant permits for residential roof top solar photovoltaic and energy storage systems. The SolarAPP+ system is an automated web-based design review system that checks to ensure proposed systems comply with current California building, electrical, and fire codes.

What Projects can be permitted through SolarAPP+?

What Projects do not qualify for SolarAPP+

  • Energy storage system projects that do not include a new pv solar system
  • Ground mount PV solar systems
  • PV solar systems where an existing PV solar system is installed
  • Owner/Builder projects (A valid contractors license is required to use the SolarAPP+ system)
  • Energy storage systems (batteries) that exceed 400lbs individually (or aggregated weight based on their proposed location(s)).
  • Projects with electrical services larger than 400A
  • Parcels with active code enforcement violation cases
  • Electrical systems that have been altered without permits (e.g. generators installed without required permits)

How do I use SolarAPP+?

  • You will also need to register for an account with the County’s permitting system called the Insite Public Portal.
  • This is a two-part process
    • First you will submit your design for review through SolarAPP+
    • Once you receive your approval documents from SolarAPP+ you will be directed to the Insite Public Portal where you will complete the application, upload your approval documents, and pay the permit fee.
    • Upon completion of the above steps your permit will be automatically issued

What do I do after my permit is issued?

  • Once the permit is issued you can complete the installation
  • When the installation is complete and you are ready for inspection you will need to request  an FI01 Project Complete inspection using the Mobile Inspection App to request your inspection

What documents do I need for the inspection?

  • Print out a hard copy of the SolarAPP+ Approval Document and it will serve as an inspection checklist.
  • A smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm affidavit is required to be completed by the property owner (or you can request that the inspector come inside to verify smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and functional).

How do I make changes to approved projects?

After issuance, projects can be revised as many times as the contractor wishes prior to installation. After revisions are complete and the project is submitted, SolarAPP+ will then run another compliance check. If your updated system design is code compliant, the system will reissue your revised Approval Document and Inspection Checklist. After the revised approval document is issued you will be directed to the County’s Insite Public Portal to process the revised permit.

SolarAPP+ does not charge additional fees for the first three revisions, while each subsequent revisions require a $25 project fee to SolarAPP+. If a revision requires payment of an additional fee, the Approval Document is not issued until the fee is paid.

How do I request a Building Inspection?

Additional Resources

For Building Department inquiries and questions, call (408) 299-5700.

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