Inspection requirements and a checklist of submittal items for residential solar photovoltaic system permits

This page provides a guide for residential solar photovoltaic systems. Following these guidelines will help ensure the application, plans and supporting documentation are complete and sufficient for permit submittal which will ensure a timely review and response. 

General intake requirements 

  • Apply online at HillsGovHub
    • For roof mounted, apply for an Electrical Trade permit
    • For Ground mounted, apply for a Residential Miscellaneous permit
  • Provide a digital set of signed and sealed plans by a design professional licensed in the State of Florida. Plans must be designed in accordance with the current Florida Building Code 
  • Recorded certified copy of Notice of Commencement in accordance with Florida Statutes 713.13 (required prior to the first inspection)
  • Permits for homeowners acting as their own contractor must complete an Owner Builder Disclosure Statement 
  • If using a Private Provider, provide all required documents per Private Provider Instructions
  • Applicants with a Florida EC or ER license may apply for a residential photovoltaic system

Building plan review requirements

  • Digitally signed and sealed engineered drawings must be uploaded to the permit record for plan review on ground mounted and infield for roof mounted. The engineer must certify that the building and site elements are capable of supporting the increased loads imposed by the solar components and do not exceed the live or dead loads of the building or roof.
  • Provide a digital set of signed and sealed plans indicating conformance to the Roof load (FBC R324.4.1.1), Wind load (FBC 324.4.1.2), Roof access and pathways (FBC 324.6 & 324.6.1) and required roof Setbacks (FBC 324.6.2). Plans must be designed in accordance with the current Florida Building Code. 
  • Electrical drawings digitally signed and sealed by a licensed Florida design professional or FSEC certification (FS 377.705) showing the entire system designed in accordance with NEC article 690
  • One-line or Three-line electrical drawings showing all major field installed electrical components, wire identification and sizing, grounding, interconnection method in compliance with engineering and NEC 705.12
  • Array
    • Layout of array (to include required Setback per FBC 324.4 – 324.6)
    • Number of panels in series 
    • Number of parallel source circuits 
    • Total number of panels 
    • Operating voltage
    • Operating current
    • Maximum system voltage
    • Short-circuit current
  • Grounding
    • Equipment grounding conductor sizing
    • Grounding electrode system and grounding electrode conductor
  • Major component information:
    • Inverter 
    • Module 
    • Battery (if used) 
    • Charge controller information (if used)  

Site plan requirements (ground mounted only)

Provide a site plan drawn to scale. Site plan must include:

  • The location of the proposed scope of work and all existing structures on the parcel
  • Property boundaries with lot dimensions
  • Provide the front, side, and rear yard setbacks (dimensions) from the proposed structure to the property boundary lines
  • The site plan must also identify all easements, conservation, and/or wetlands areas and setbacks
  • Site plan must indicate: “No trees will be removed in order to construct the proposed improvements on the property. Any tree within an environmentally sensitive area, or any tree 12” or greater in trunk diameter 4.5’ above the ground surface have been removed unless an exempt species as defined in Land Development Code Article 12.01, Definitions.”
    • Trees that are 12” or greater will require a permit to be removed. All trees being removed must be indicated in HillsGovHub under Tree Removal. The requirement shall include any tree species type, location of tree, number of trees, and trunk diameter
  • Ground mounted solar panels may not project into the required front yard(s), except on a residential lot with two front yards. In this instance, ground mounted solar panels may project five feet into the front yard which functions as a side or rear yard. Ground mounted solar panels in residential zoning districts and residential portions of Planned Developments (PD's) and Special Public Interest (SPI) zoning districts are limited to a maximum height of 14 feet and must maintain minimum rear and side yard principal structure setbacks, with the exception being those zoning districts where the principal structure side and/or rear yard setbacks exceed 15 feet. In these instances, ground mounted solar panels are permitted a minimum rear and/or side yard setback of 15 feet. 

Special design review requirements

  • Mobile/Manufactured homes:
    • Provide an engineer’s letter certifying that the structural analysis has been determined that the structure and the mounting system satisfies the necessary design criteria. The exterior walls of the mobile or manufactured home may not have equipment or panels attached to them.
  • If the property is located within a Community Planned area, this area may require additional design review that govern the development per applicable code requirements
  • If the property is located inside the Wind-borne Debris Region, these areas require additional design requirements

Special Flood Hazard Areas (ground mounted only)

  • If the property is located within a Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zone V) and Coastal A Zones or areas known to have muck soils, highly organic suspect soils, or where there is erosion, scour or settling of underlying soils, a soils and foundation analysis (geotechnical report) may be required
  • Buildings and structures located in whole or in part in identified floodways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with ASCE 24-14 and all applicable code requirements

Inspection requirements 

A rough-in inspection can be performed according to the guidelines for Virtual Inspections. The rough-in inspection is required to be scheduled for the day you are beginning your rough in activities. The inspector will audit all materials whether installed on or the ground. 

Additional resources and information 

For Building and Construction Services assistance, contact 

Last Modified: 3/6/2024, 9:35:26 PM

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