A permit is needed to install solar panels. Depending on the type of installation, roof-mounted or ground-mounted, certain state licenses are required for the installer. Solar panel installations must meet current building codes as well as the City of Rock Hill Zoning Ordinance design standards.
For residential properties, any solar installation must be located on the rear elevation or otherwise configured to the degree practicable to have a minimal visual impact as seen from the street. Solar installations that are visible from the street must either be composed of building-integrated components (such as solar shingles) that are not readily evident, or be designed and mounted to match the shape, proportions, and slope of the roof.
Installation of solar systems on the roof of a structure adds weight to the structure commonly referred to as “dead load.” This additional weight must be accounted for to ensure that the building can safely bear the weight of the solar installation. Solar panels also may impose loads generated by seismic forces, and in some areas, by snow accumulation. Solar panels must also resist wind forces.
Before purchasing any solar panels you should consult with the City’s Permit Application Center and Utilities Department to determine if the type and location of the panels are feasible as well as if the system can be safely interconnected with the utilities grid.
Plan Submittal and Permit Process
Plans should be submitted to the Permit Application Center (PAC). The Solar Panel Plan Review Checklist will assist you in preparing your plans and lists the required information and forms to include. The PAC will route your plans to the appropriate City departments for review. Plan review may take up to 10 business days. Plans may be submitted the following ways:
- Online Services website
- By mail or hand delivered to PAC, 155 Johnston St., Room 300, Rock Hill SC 29730.
Once the plans are approved you will receive an email. The plans and permit application will be forwarded to a permit technician to prepare the permit. The permit technician will contact you with the total permit fee and give further instructions.
Inspections are required to ensure the installation complies with all applicable codes and the approved plans.
For further information, contact any representative at the PAC by phone at 803-329-5590 or email.
Utilities Netmetering Forms:
Application Interconnection of Customer Owned Renewable Generation System
Standard Interconnection Agreement for Generation System
TriParty Net Metering Agreement
Net Metering Rate Schedule
To get more information about solar panels, reference the article written by the South Carolina Department of Energy, "What to know when considering solar panels".