City of Portland - Streamlined Building Permits for Residential Solar Systems

August 11, 2023


The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) developed a streamlined permitting process for residential solar energy system installations. The City of Portland has staff at the permitting desk trained as solar experts to assist solar contractors who need help filing their permits in person. Simple residential installations may apply for a combination building and plumbing/electrical permit, and proceed through planning and zoning and plan review process. If the installation complies with all requirements and all fees are paid, the permit will be issued the same day. 

Additionally, the permit fees are capped for systems following the prescriptive process. The prescriptive process has specifications for roof structure, roof materials, loading, and panel height. Solar collectors and the underlying structures must be designed and installed in accordance with the Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code. The Bureau of Development Services has guidelines for both residential and commercial solar energy systems available at the Program Guides web site.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics


Name: Permitting Services, BDS
Organization: Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainabilit
Phone: (503) 823-7300

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.