Solar Energy Systems

Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy Systems and Thermal Solar Energy Systems

A building permit is required for the installation of the following solar systems:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy System, converting sunlight to electricity generation
  • Thermal Solar Energy System, used for potable water heating
  • Thermal Solar Energy System, used for space heating and for swimming pool heating
**Please note: Prior approval by the City's Design Review Board is required. Please contact
Pam Maslowski or call 623-889-6205 before submitting your application to the Building Safety Department.

The building permit application submittal package (minimum two copies) must include the following information:
  • An Eligibility Checklist for Expedited Roof Mount Solar PV System form must be attached with the Building Permit Application.
  • A site plan delineating the location of the solar panel (module) array and/or of the solar collectors, as well as the location and labeling of all other mounted solar equipment (i.e. dedicated PV system meter, PV array DC disconnect switch, PV system utility AC disconnect switch, inverter, etc.)
  • Manufacturer's mounting specifications and details
  • Electrical one-line and three-line diagrams
  • Equipment labeling, including required "warning" information, voltage/current operational ratings, as well as maximum allowable temperature and pressure ratings.
  • Product cut sheets and listings/specifications
  • Construction plan notes. When installing a thermal solar water heating system, a note shall be added to include "the requirement that solar water heating equipment must be installed in compliance with applicable plumbing codes and as prescribed by a solar rating and certification corporation and any guidelines adopted by the State," reference Arizona Revised Statutes.
***Please note: The connections from the potable water supply to the solar system shall include backflow protection in compliance with section P2902.5.5., I.R.C.

Our City supports and is anxious to be a part of the solar energy movement, recognizing the potential of this wonderful alternative renewable resource, while operating in compliance and consistent with current Arizona Revised Statutes. At the same time, in compliance with sections M2301.2.2 and M2302.2.1, I.R.C. which address the structural safety of existing roof systems when adding the gravity (dead) load and the wind load (caused by the wind profile) of additional roof mounted equipment must be considered. For this reason, the following plan review procedure will be applied to roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar panels (modules) and roof mounted solar water heating panels (modules):

  • For existing roof trusses, and as part of the required building permit application submittal package, a third party field investigation report is required along with a stamped and signed structural analysis addressing the adequacy of the roof structure to resist gravity and wind loading, as well as the adequacy of the connections to anchor the new equipment.
  • For existing stick framed roof structures (i.e. roof rafters, etc.) the building permit application submittal may be reviewed without a structural analysis, if a roof framing plan of the existing roof structure is submitted. The existing roof framing plan must be properly dimensioned with all framing members, including support beams and headers, specified by framing member size, specie and grade. In addition, all supported roof mounted solar equipment gravity (dead) loads must be properly noted on the roof framing plan, with equipment mounting point load locations shown and listed equipment roof connections (for gravity load support and wind uplift resistance) detailed.
The City's building permit cost for solar system projects is based on a flat fee. For the City's current collected fee amount please contact City Staff at (623) 935-1066. This fee is used to cover building permit related City services, including building plan review, building inspection and related administrative building permit service costs.

***Please Note: Since the addition of roof mounted solar panels (modules), if not screened by a roof parapet, alter the appearance of a building's exterior, the solar system project must be approved by the City's Design Review Board (DRB) before a building permit application can be made.

*** Also Please Note: Since proper grounding and roof anchoring of the Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy System is extremely important, the City requires a Photovoltaic Solar Systems Grounding and Anchoring Certification be filled out and signed by the installer prior to the City's "final" inspection of the installation. Equally important, the City requires an Anchoring Certification for a Thermal Solar Energy system to be filled out and signed by the installer, prior to the City's "final" inspection.