Navigate Up
Planning and Development
Menu +

Photovoltaic / Solar Permits and Guidelines

Published on: 7/17/2018 2:58 PM

Are you looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money on your energy bills in the long run? Solar thermal and solar electric energy generation are becoming an increasingly popular and viable way to do all this and more.

Solar power is an important part of the Santa Clara County Climate Change & Sustainability Program. We are committed to using renewable energy at County facilities and encourage homeowners, business owners and other entities with the unincorporated areas of the county to do the same.

Below is information about the kind and size of system is appropriate for your building, rebates and incentives, suppliers, contractors and much more.


New Email Permits for PV Applications

As of October 1, 2017, we will begin to pilot our Electronic PV (EPV) Submittal process. To minimize your time spent in our office, we will accept submittals that meet the requirements below via email.

Requirements for the new EPV Process:

  • Single Family Residential – in Unincorporated Santa Clara County
  • Flush Roof-Mount systems
  • Small systems (10 kW or less)
  • No Battery Storage

Permit Application.


Permit Information for Solar/PV Permits

Photovoltaic Permit Application Guidelines

Photovoltaic Inspection Checklist

Solar PV Signage Requirements:


Residential Solar Systems


County Program for Commercial Solar Facilities

In November 2010, the Board of Supervisors approved an update to the County's Zoning Ordinance to specifically address Commercial Solar Systems.

For more information contact Rob Eastwood.



Note: The solar insolation (kWh/m2/day) values on these maps is somewhat different from values shown on maps available though the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other sources. The Planning Office calculated the values shown on these maps by factoring in terrain and southern exposure.


Resources & Links


Financing, Rebates & Incentives