PV permit

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I would like to install a 2.5kw PV system. I did all the research in all the equipment I need; the PV types, inverters etc… but unfortunately I could not find enough recourse in how to apply for a permit.
Can someone help me to find where an how to apply for a New Jersey PV permit?
Thank you.

Comments

  • dsp3930dsp3930 Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/programs/net-metering-and-interconnection

    Forms and contact information is listed towards the bottom of the page.
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit
    dsp3930 wrote: »
    http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/programs/net-metering-and-interconnection

    Forms and contact information is listed towards the bottom of the page.

    That's the rebate/interconnection side right? There should also be a permit from the city needed. Call the city or go in to city hall and ask. You pretty much always have to go through Building and Safety and sometimes you have to go through Planning.
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    I was able to get my PV permit myself. The local inspectors and workers down at the building department were very helpful and friendly, which was a bit of a pleasant surprise since I was worried they would be upset if they had to spend a few extra minutes with a "nonprofessional."

    I made one initial trip just for information. The second trip I attempted to get the permit but was told my application wasn't detailed enough. I went back and traced out every wire, specified every wire guage, showed the plan for the panels up on the garage roof and their connections. It ended up being many pages. I went back there and the inspector was very happy with it, but I was turned down a second time because the mounting system for the pv panels was not certified for Florida. I asked on this forum, Solar Guppy sent me to a great PE man who did the necessary calculations and certification, and the local inspectors were happy and issued the permit. I went back after the permit and spoke to the managing inspector one more time about a wiring question I had, and he was happy to answer the question so I didn't get red-flagged for a violation, it was corrected before the wiring was installed.

    I would rate it as a great experience dealing with them.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    permits, if they are needed in your area, are usually done either by a building inspector or the fire dept for your local town or city. these are not state permits.
  • CaptTurboCaptTurbo Solar Expert Posts: 66 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    Here in Lee County it's the county that deals with permits and they are a pain to deal with if my installer is playing straight with me. I'm still waiting for Solar Source to begin the install. :grr
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit
    CaptTurbo wrote: »
    Here in Lee County it's the county that deals with permits and they are a pain to deal with if my installer is playing straight with me. I'm still waiting for Solar Source to begin the install. :grr

    That's interesting. I don't see how Lee County could be that much different from Polk County.

    But it reminds me about another good story about my dealings with Solar Source. I had them install a solar pool heater. The heater was supposed to be entitled to a rebate from Florida. The rebate in Florida needs information about the contractor filled in before it can be submitted. They promised to send the form, so I waited and waited for the form with the information. I finally called. And this is what they said, I'm not making this up, "We don't as a rule send customers the information because we're not sure they are going to apply for the rebate." YES, they aren't sure people want the rebate from Florida that they're entitled to. I did finally get the rebate, no thanks to them.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    sub3,
    it can vary from town to town and i guess county to county as to who may handle it.

    as to this comment,
    "We don't as a rule send customers the information because we're not sure they are going to apply for the rebate."
    that is one of the worst excuses i've heard for not replying to such a simple request. so does the company feel that they are going to be penalized or charged if you don't follow through on your rebate?:confused:
  • CVN-71CVN-71 Solar Expert Posts: 54 ✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    My recent experience. I'm in NH, not Florida. Still when I was in the planning stages went down to City hall to chat with inspector. He wanted nothing to do with me. Told me to have my electrician submit an Engineering Plan with the Permit request.
    So I went thru serious work to design an engineering plan. Gave it to my electrician. When he tried to give it to the inspector, he told him, "I don't need that, and issued the permit. aargg!
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit
    niel wrote: »
    sub3,

    as to this comment,
    "We don't as a rule send customers the information because we're not sure they are going to apply for the rebate."
    that is one of the worst excuses i've heard for not replying to such a simple request. so does the company feel that they are going to be penalized or charged if you don't follow through on your rebate?:confused:

    I don't think they really cared at all once they got paid. As far as I know, it makes absolutely no difference to the company if you do or don't get the rebate, and I don't think they can then get the Florida rebate if you don't, although now that I'm thinking about neil's comment it might be interesting to check.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: PV permit

    In California (at least in times past)--the Rebate was signed over to the installer as part of the payment (once pre-approved by the state)... So the installer had incentive to get the paper work done.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: PV permit
    I was able to get my PV permit myself. The local inspectors and workers down at the building department were very helpful and friendly, which was a bit of a pleasant surprise since I was worried they would be upset if they had to spend a few extra minutes with a "nonprofessional."

    I made one initial trip just for information. The second trip I attempted to get the permit but was told my application wasn't detailed enough. I went back and traced out every wire, specified every wire guage, showed the plan for the panels up on the garage roof and their connections. It ended up being many pages. I went back there and the inspector was very happy with it, but I was turned down a second time because the mounting system for the pv panels was not certified for Florida. I asked on this forum, Solar Guppy sent me to a great PE man who did the necessary calculations and certification, and the local inspectors were happy and issued the permit. I went back after the permit and spoke to the managing inspector one more time about a wiring question I had, and he was happy to answer the question so I didn't get red-flagged for a violation, it was corrected before the wiring was installed.

    I would rate it as a great experience dealing with them.

    Do you have a sample of the application you submitted? Did you fill 2 applications one for an electrical permit and one for a building permit? How about the engineering plan? It there a lay out to follow in order to create one for my system so I don’t have to seek a professional help.
    Thank you
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit

    Yes, I still have all the information. It was one permit. I had a little drawing of the panels up on the garage roof. The drawing wasn't artwork, just a very simple picture. I also had a list of all the equipment. The permit person wanted a "detailed drawing." I went back home and drew on one paper the wiring layout for grounding. On another sheet I showed the wiring from the panels to the charge controllers, the batteries, the inverter, and the electrical panels. Also, I determined what gauge wire was needed in each connection. The drawings turned out pretty good, with different colors for + , - , and green for the ground wire and Equipment Grounding Conductor wiring. With that they granted me the permit!

    I did make an important mistake by figuring everything myself and following the NEC. With the permit, the EGC path was shown, but I was going to use the conduit as is supposed to be allowed by the NEC. I put up some of the conduit even, then I went back to ask. The people here in Polk County Florida were really great and helpful. I was able to talk to the head of the department, and he explained that here there must a wire used as the EGC. I have since found that this is considered by electricians the best method, and as has been pointed out to me here on this forum, the NEC is a MINIMUM, but surpassing its requirements can be better.

    So because of the NEC conduit fill rule, I had to go back and put up more conduit. Which would have been upsetting, but then I was able to upsize the wiring to reduce the losses. I also then, as the NEC requires, upsized the EGC too.

    What I learned was what an electrician building my house told me before I even started the project. Upsize the wire as much as you can, and then upsize the conduit after that.

    And now that I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty sure I did submit on the drawing the EGC as a wire, but after reading the NEC I decided to make the change without consulting the permit people. So that mistake was definitely 100% my fault.
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: PV permit
    BB. wrote: »
    In California (at least in times past)--the Rebate was signed over to the installer as part of the payment (once pre-approved by the state)... So the installer had incentive to get the paper work done.

    -Bill

    Yes, and it's still a common option to sign the rebate over to the installer, but having the installer carry the rebate costs the customer money because it costs the installer money. Of course carrying the rebate costs the customer money as well, but it probably costs more if the installer does - one way or the other.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    Re: PV permit

    And those rebates (solar subsidies) come from over charging on utility bills and high taxes--so the rebates cost us money in other ways too...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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