Prepare plans for your solar panel or photovoltaic (PV) system

Learn how to format your plans for your photovoltaic system and what to include if your permit application requires plan review.

Format your plans

We will accept plans submitted by email.

We will scan plans submitted on paper and process them online.


Put all pages into 1 unlocked PDF file. Format pages for printing on 11x17 size paper.


Use 10 point type size or larger for all text (plan notes, captions, charts, tables).


All drawings must be to scale with dimensions.

Use color to make plans easier to understand. 

Oversize plans

You may format your plans larger than 11x17 if you need to include a large amount of detail. Indicate the intended size on the sheet. 

We may request paper prints of oversized sheets. For oversized plans or commercial projects, provide a full size set of plans for inspection.

What to include in your plans

Your plans must include specific drawings and diagrams. 

Do not include extra information. Plans submitted with excess pages will be returned for editing.

Roof plan

Include 1 or more sheets showing the roof plan, including:

  • Roof perimeter with fire setbacks (include calculations and sprinkler provisions when the setback is 18”
  • Roof type (pitched vs. flat) and any relevant details (ridges, hips, valleys, parapets)
  • Additional features (vents, skylights)
  • Orientation of property (north, south, east, west)
  • Adjacent street for corner lots
  • Conduit routing plan
  • Location of modules, junction or combiner boxes, disconnects, inverters, electrical service, and any subpanels relevant to the installation

Elevation view

Include at least 1 elevation view showing the solar array mounted on the property.

Your plans may require additional elevation views if:

  • The building has unusual features that make it difficult to interpret how fire personnel will have required access
  • There are multiple roof levels in a pathway 

Clearly label elevation views when including multiple drawings.

Method of attachment 

Include at least 1 view that shows in detail how the solar array is attached to the roof.

Tilt-up racking must include a basic uplift calculation if you are submitting a reverse tilt array (north side of sloped roof near ridge). 

We will usually accept low slope arrays if they are provided on racking made by accepted, listed manufacturers.

Customized components may need separate approval.

Electrical wiring

Include electrical wiring diagram (single or multiple line) showing any:

  • Modules
  • Inverters
  • Switches
  • Panels
  • Wire types and sizes
  • Conduit type and sizes
  • Ampacity calculations

Data sheets

Include data sheets for any major components used in the system. 

Provide current PDF downloads from manufacturer websites only. Do not include scans of old data sheets or copies from catalogues.

If the listing is not shown in the cutsheet, we may ask for supporting documents.

Do not include additional manufacturer information, including installation instruction guides, manuals, or certificates of compliance.

Warning labels

Include sheets with updated warning label and signage for service personnel and emergency responders.

Structural review

Non-R-3, ground mounted, and ballasted projects require structural review by an architect or engineer.  

Plans submitted with structural analysis and stamped by an architect or professional engineer will expedite our review.

Provide structural drawings and calculations stamped and signed by a California-licensed civil or structural engineer, along with the following information

  • The type of roof covering and the number of roof coverings installed
  • Type of roof framing, size of members and spacing
  • Weight of panels, support locations and method of attachment
  • Framing plan and details for any work necessary to strengthen the existing roof structure
  • Site-specific structural calculations
  • Where an approved racking system is used, provide documentation showing manufacturer of the rack system, maximum allowable weight the system can support, attachment method to the roof or ground and product evaluation information or structural design for the rack system

Fire review

The Fire Department will review plans for multi-family dwellings, hotel or motel occupancies, and non-residential occupancies.

Last updated February 2, 2023