Easy Solar Panel permitting in Livermore

Board member Doug Mann found it was incredibly painless to get permitted and start producing energy at his home.  Having gone through the process, this information would hopefully help others get headed in the right direction with fewer missteps.

This system is grid tied and uses the newer technology of microinverters.  These inverters make just about everything easier, cheaper and better.  String inverters on the other hand, while still appropriate in some cases, could add unwanted complexity.

Here’s the MS Word document was handed to Livermore Building department.  They handed back a permit.

Livermore-Solar-Permit-Plan

Livermore also has these handy reference documents

1-14 Photovoltaic Submittal (Residential)

1-14 Photovoltaic 2013 Code Changes Residential

The “hardest” part for some may be calculating the voltage rise, which should be done to figure out how big your copper wires must be so that the system runs efficiently.  You can serach the internet for “Solar voltage rise calculator”.  Enphase also makes a handy guide.  EnphaseTechBrief_Vdrop_M250

Remember your ground wire needs to be #8 or larger in Livermore, regardless of your conductor size.

Search Craigslist for the solar panels and microinverters.  In our high tech area, there are often great package deals offered on Craigslist for panels/inverters/racking.  The south bay seems to always have inventory.  Everything else you need is at the hardware store.

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