Rooftop Solar Photo-Voltaic (PV) Installations
|Rooftop solar installation|
Homeowners interested in installing rooftop photo-voltaic (PV) power systems may use a simple in-person "Over the Counter" process to collect their permit in just a few minutes as long as the proposed system complies with the latest solar construction tipsheet guidelines.
Counter hours are limited to certain times and days of the week: click here for current hours.
A building permit is not required, but the City does require the following:
- An electrical permit, which is issued during the visit to the permit counter.
- A project cover sheet, which may be filled out ahead of time to expedite your visit. These can be found on our forms page.
After installation, the City will perform the only inspections required -- usually a preliminary and a final.
Total fees for this whole process are approximately $225-250. You will also need PSE to come swap in new electrical meters (usually about $90).
Residential solar projects that do not meet the standards of a typical installation (see tipsheet guidelines) must complete the City's standard building permit application as well as a cover sheet, and bring both of those in-person to the permit counter. Filling these in ahead of time will expedite your Over the Counter permit visit.
Learn more about connecting to the electrical grid and net metering at this PSE webpage.
Commercial solar installations must use a building permit routed through a more detailed plan review process.
The City of Mercer Island had approximately 32 known grid-connected solar installations (170 kilowatts total) through early 2014, including a City-owned 4.4 kilowatt ground-mounted array installed at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center in July 2013.
In the summer of 2014, the City partnered with a local non-profit to run a "Solarize" campaign that facilitated rooftop solar for homeowners and small businesses through educational workshops, a pre-selected qualified installer, and a group discount. This campaign led to an additional 47 rooftop installations, and 320 kilowatts of generating capacity. Since that time, dozens more have been added.
As of Jan 2018, the City has 116 known installations, with a combined capacity of over 900 Kilowatts.
Learn more about the City's solar programs on Mercer Island here.
Learn more about other green building concepts here.