Local Community Tools

The following resources have been created to assist decision-makers in New York State localities who have responsibilities in permitting and inspecting PV systems, and also for those officials who might encounter a PV system in their work environment (such as firefighters and other first responders).

Standard PV Permit for New York State Local Officials

Adoption of a standardized residential/small business solar permit is a key element to help New York State municipalities remove barriers to local economic development in the growing solar industry. The standardized permit is expected to cut costs by creating a uniform permitting process in municipalities across the State. As municipalities adopt the permit, installers and municipalities alike will save time and resources permitting PV systems.

For all New York State counties with the exception of Nassau and Suffolk

For the New York State Counties of Nassau and Suffolk

Additional Resources and Opportunities

  • Cleaner, Greener Communities
    Funding is available from NYSERDA through Category 1 of PON2721, Cleaner Greener Communities Phase II Implementation Grants, for communities to adopt streamlined permitting for photovoltaic systems, with awards of up to $5,000 per project. NYSERDA will be reviewing applications for Category 1 of PON2721 until 4:00 PM Eastern Time on September 30, 2014, until funds are exhausted, or until the solicitation is revised by NYSERDA, whichever comes first.
  • NYSolarSmart.org
    NYSolar Smart is a state-wide collaborative effort led by CUNY designed to reduce the non-hardware soft costs of installing solar throughout New York with support in part from the Governor's NY-Sun Initiative. NYSolar Smart developed the NYS Solar Unified Permit and aims to further lower costs by creating clear and transparent interconnection processes, incorporating solar-friendly policies into planning and zoning, exploring financing options, offering IT tools such as the New York State Solar Map, and conducting outreach activities. For assistance please contact NYS Solar Ombudsman at: sustainable@cuny.edu
  • ProjectPermit.org
    A project of the Vote Solar Initiative, Project Permit is an interactive website that scores municipal solar permitting practices nationwide. It is designed to help permitting staff, solar advocates, and municipal leaders understand how their city or town compares to permitting best practices. Project Permit includes tools and resources to help more municipalities achieve permitting best practices. Project Permit is funded by Solar 3.0, a DOE Sunshot Initiative grant recipient.
  • NY-Sun PV Balance of System Training and Education Program
    Beginning spring/summer of 2014, NYSERDA and its partners will be conducting PV training in localities across NYS for code enforcement officers, building and electrical third party inspectors, fire inspectors, commissioners of public safety, building department plan examiners, village engineers and other public officials who might have a role in the permitting, inspection or approval process for a PV system or who might encounter a PV system in their work environment, for example, firefighters and other first responders. Please stay tuned for details and a schedule of trainings and locations.