PV (Solar) Systems

This information bulletin is published to guide applicants through a streamlined permitting process for solar hot water or photovoltaic (PV) projects 10 kW in size or smaller. This bulletin provides information about submittal requirements for plan review, required fees and inspections.

1. Approval Requirements

The following permit(s) are required to install a solar hot water or PV system with a maximum power output of 10 kW or less:

a) Building, Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical 

Fire Division -  Department approval is not required for PV solar installations of this size. 

Planning Division - The Zoning Ordinance regulates overall building height, which includes proposed solar systems.  The maximum building height for residential zoning districts are listed below.  For all other zoning districts, verify with the Planning Division your designated zoning.  To speak with a staff member call (650) 903-6306 during regular business hours.


2. Submittal Requirements

a) Completed permit application form. This permit application form can be downloaded at: Submittal Application Form

b) Demonstrate compliance with the eligibility checklist for expedited permitting.  Submit (2) completed packages per the established guidelines.  Click the link below for plan requirements.

Solar Hot Water - Pool

Solar Hot Water - Domestic

Solar Photovoltaic System - Microinverter

Solar Photovoltaic System - Central Inverter

d) The roof plan you provide shall include PV panels and the following fire safety items: approximate location of roof access point, location of code-compliant access pathways, PV system fire classification and the locations of all required labels and markings. Examples of clear path access pathways are available in the State Fire Marshal Solar PV Installation Guide. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/pdf/reports/solarphotovoltaicguideline.pdf.

e) The structural criteria documentation is mandatory requirement for your submittal package.  A full explanation of the methods and calculations used to produce these criteria can be found in the Structural Technical Appendix for Residential Rooftop Solar Installations, which is available at: http://www.opr.ca.gov/docs/Solar_Structural_Technical_Appendix.pdf.

3. Plan Review

Permit applications can be submitted to City of Mountain View - Building Division by:

  1. Via Mail: Community Development - Building Division, 500 Castro Street - 1st Floor,  Mountain View, CA 94041
  2. Via Fax: (650) 963-3034
  3. Via Email: Please note if you submit via email it is mandatory you include a valid email address, this enables us to confirm receipt of your package.  pvsubmittals@mountainview.gov
  4. Via In-Person: Permit applications utilizing standard plan may be approved "over the counter" during a set appointment time.  Appointments can be scheduled using our ONE STOP process.  If you prefer not to utilize the One Stop process you can submit for regular plan check which is (3) business from received date.

4. Fees

Permit fees are based on the 2015’-2016’ adopted fee schedule. To determine fees for your proposed project refer to the Master Fee Schedule: Master Fee Schedule

5. Inspections

After permit issuance and installation of the system, inspection by the City of Mountain View is required.  Inspections can be scheduled by contacting Building Division - Automated System at (650) 903-6371, Staff Member at (650) 903-6313 x0, or electronically at E-Permits - Schedule Inspection.     

Inspection requests for Monday through Friday must be received before 3:00 pm in order to be scheduled for the following business day.  Any requests received after 3:00 pm will be scheduled for the second business day. We do not perform inspections on weekends or holidays; please take this into consideration when scheduling your inspection.

Permit holders must be prepared to show conformance with all technical requirements in the field at the time of inspection. The inspector will verify that the installation is in conformance with applicable code requirements and with the approved plans.

6. Departmental Contact Information

If you have additional questions please contact a staff member via email or by calling the main line during regular business hours at (650) 903-6313.

Please Note: If your project does not qualify for this submittal process, you will need to contact a staff member to discuss submittal requirements and timelines.