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The use of solar power by businesses and residents is becoming increasingly popular. And while solar energy can be an attractive option for residences and businesses, it is vital they are installed safely and operate properly. To achieve this, following the proper permitting process is essential.
“These steps are for your safety,” said Kirsten Ledington, Manager of the Building and Fire Code Services Department for the City of Edmond. “If a vendor installs a system without taking the proper steps, they are doing their customer a disservice. There could be safety issues – like potential fire hazards or damage to structures – that proper permitting and inspections can help prevent. Additionally, an improperly installed system may feed back into Edmond Electric’s distribution system, posing a hazard for line personnel.”
First, solar systems are limited in size to 10 kW for residential customers and 50 kW for small commercial entities. If a larger system is desired, that request must be reviewed by Edmond Electric.
Next, potential solar generation system customers need to apply for the proper permit. These systems must be reviewed and approved prior to installation. Permit applications go through the City’s Building and Fire Code Services Department.
To begin the process, licensed contractors must submit a completed Distributed Generation Systems Permit Application with appropriate fee documentation, Homeowner’s Acknowledgement, and the interconnection agreement to the Building and Fire Code Services Department. Applications can be submitted through permits.edmondok.gov.
Upon approval of and payment for the Distributed Generation Permit, a completed interconnection agreement will be provided along with the permit and installation can begin. Before operation can begin, the new unit will need to be inspected and tested by City staff to ensure it is set up properly.
When the testing and inspections are completed, customers receive a Solar Generation Certificate of Completion, which authorizes the interconnection and parallel operation with Edmond Electric’s distribution system.
“There are requirements, but these steps are easy to do, and they are put in place to ensure that solar generation is done efficiently and safely,” said Glenn Fisher, the Edmond Electric Director. “It also is important to note that customers need to do their due diligence in vetting their vendors. Edmond Electric does not endorse, recommend, or partner with any particular distributed generation company or organization.”
Information is available for customers outlining the requirements, as well as questions to consider before installing a solar generation system, questions for potential vendors, and rate and billing information at edmondok.gov/1569/Solar-Generation.