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City and County of Denver - Solar Panel Permitting (Colorado)

General Public/Consumer
Low-Income Residential
Multi-Family Residential
Savings Category 
Solar Water Heat
Program Info
Program Type 
Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Department of Development Services

Construction, Electrical, Plumbing and Zoning Permits* are required for Photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the city of Denver. Denver provides same day permit review for most solar panel projects. More complex engineering projects may still be required to go through the Plan Review process.

To obtain Zoning Permits for flush mounted solar panels, applicants must have roof plan showing that the solar panels are installed parallel and within one foot of the roof surface they are placed on and at least 2 foot dimension between the solar panels and the edge of the roof. All calculations performed by a Colorado registered professional engineer shall be submitted to the Division to substantiate that the structure can support the design loads specified. Details and calculations for the panel connections to the roof shall be included. Zoning Permit applications for all other solar panel systems require a site plan, roof concept plan, and elevation plans.

Applicants for solar PV systems are required to provide two sets of plans including one-line diagrams, supporting calculations and catalog sheets of equipment.

Applicants seeking Building Permits must provide:

*Electrical Permit with complete one-line diagram, all supporting calculations, and copies of the equipment catalog sheets (per standard procedures).
*Plumbing Permit (PDF)
*Construction Permit - Completed by staff of Development Services (Required for tilt-up systems only):
**Name of system manufacturer, model name or number of system.
**Drawings signed and sealed by a design professional.

Applicants for Do-it-Yourself Projects must provide:

*Homeowners Exam for specific trade if completing the work yourself
*Identification (i.e. Driver's License)

Zoning and Building Permit fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials. Although fees for solar panels are capped at $50 for all permits, total construction fee schedules should be verified with the city of Denver on an case-by-case basis.

''*A Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness is also required if the PV system is being installed in a Landmark District or on a designated landmark structure. The approval typically takes one to three weeks. More complex projects or projects requiring Landmark Preservation Commission or Lower Downtown Design Review Board approval will take longer.''

''** The City and County of Denver was designated the first "Solar Friendly Community" in the nation based upon its streamlined permitting process. Solar Friendly Communities is one of 22 teams around the nation awarded a Rooftop Solar Challenge grant under the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.''