Renewable Energy

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Steps to Install Solar in Portola Valley

To apply for Solar Photovoltaics in Portola Valley follow the following steps:

1. Apply for a building permit with the Town - there is a flat rate fee of $50 for solar photovoltaic permits

2. As part of the building permit, you must submit three sets of drawings

  • basic site diagram identifying the location of the major components (not to scale)
  • specification sheets for the solar photovoltaic system including: major components (inverter information, module information and battery information); array information; wiring and overcurrent protection; provisions for the photovoltaic power source disconnecting means; grounding and array mounting information
  • one-line electrical diagram showing all major field-installed electrical components, wire identification and sizing, and grounding

3. Include a check for $90 made out to Woodside Fire Protection District with your permit application as they will be conducting a final inspection on the installation in addition to the Town. 

Note: The Town strongly encourages the use of black frame panels to diminish reflectivity

Find Solar - Connecting You to Renewable Energy Professionals
California Solar Energy Industries Association (CalSEIA) - California Solar Energy Industries Association supports the widespread adoption of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems by educating consumers, supporting solar legislation and conducting business in a professional and ethical manner.
Northern California Solar Energy Association Home - a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to accelerate the use of solar energy technology through the exchange of information.

Financing & Incentives
Database of Solar Initiatives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) - a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Choose one or both databases to search:
California Solar Initiative
Good Explanation of California Solar Initiative Process
California Energy Commission Energy Efficiency Financing - includes loans for renewable energy projects
Federal Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Installations

Articles about financing:
Good Description of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA
Top Ten Solar Loan Sites