The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) developed an electronic permitting process for residential solar energy system installations. With this streamlined, expedited process, solar contractors can submit the project plans and permit application online for residential installations. In order to file the online application, the contractor must first be trained. 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. This process has a turnaround time of approximately 24 hours for building permits. Projects that follow the prescriptive process are eligible for this online permitting process. 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. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has guidelines for both residential and commercial solar energy systems available here.
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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.
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