The Solar Installation Process
Getting your solar installed within 4 to 8 weeks
1. The Process starts with the site survey.
After every new solar installation contract is signed usually, within 48 business hours, our site surveyor will come out to visit the home and validate everything that was done on the initial computer-based design from your Solar Expert.
They're going to get on the roof and validate everything, including the roof measurements of the solar panel layout to make sure that there are no obstructions on the roof, like a vent pipe or a small chimney that didn't show up on the computer.
They will make sure that there are no obstructions that would cause us to have to change the solar panel layout. They are going to open up all the electrical panels and get a detailed view both inside and outside of the electrical panels so that the electrician can plan exactly where they're going to be making their interconnections and identify which circuits need to be moved to a critical loads panel if you're doing a battery backup system.
So the goal of that site survey is to make sure that the plan is finalized and to collect all of the information that the engineering team and the interconnection team are going to need to file the necessary paperwork.
2. Permit & Engineering
Once the site survey is complete there are three parallel processes.
To kick off the first is the engineering and permitting process. Whenever you do a solar power installation, this is just like any other modification to the home. This means that we have to get a building permit and we have to get an electrical permit.
The site surveyor will make sure that we collect all the information we need. This includes specifications on what type of supports are underneath your roof.
Is it Rafter's trusses? What size are they? What's the roof pitch? All that information is captured during the site surveyor so that the engineering can proceed without delay, also in parallel to that is the interconnection process.
This is the process of the necessary paperwork that needs to be filed with the utility company, and in some cases the state Utilities Commission as well.
This involves putting together a detailed electrical wiring schematic showing how all of the solar components are going to be interconnected, as well as the specifications for that equipment. The third process, optionally, is if you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association, we have to submit a major modification request form. Some homeowner's associations have a slightly different name for that, but essentially it is the application to make an improvement to the home.
We'll be kicking off that process as well. It's crucial that all three of these processes happen in parallel to make sure that we stay within this four to eight week time window.
So again, it all starts at the site survey. Once that's complete you've got the engineering permitting process, the utility interconnection process, and the homeowners association approval process will all go in parallel.
3. Panel Mounting
Once those approvals are secured, the installation crew and the materials are delivered to the job site. The roof team will do the solar panel mounting on your roof or if it's a ground mount system.
The ground construction crew will do the solar panel mounting at the same time. The electrical crew will be doing the hook up of the inverter, or if you're using a microinverter system the Hook-Up of the AC power coming off the inverter into your electrical service, which could either be done outside near the meter base or it can be done inside in your main.
Circuit breaker panel and then, optionally, if you do choose to include a battery backup, the electrical team will also install a critical loads panel and then move the selected circuits out of your main panel into the critical loads panel. This is what's going to keep the power on to all of your critical systems during a power outage.
4. Final Inspection
Once all three install teams have finished their work, we call the jurisdiction, the city, or the county inspector in to do the final inspection.
5. New Meter Installation
Once the final inspection is passed, we’ll contact the power company and get your new meter installed with the new process. We can execute the entire installation within four to eight weeks to make sure that you get up and running with your new solar power system as soon as possible.