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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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City and County of Denver - Solar Panel Permitting   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/02/2014
Program Overview:
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, General Public/Consumer, Construction, Installer/Contractor, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential, Institutional
Web Site:

The City and County of Denver was designated the first "Solar Friendly Community" in the nation based upon its streamlined permitting process.

Denver provides same-day permit review for most solar panel projects. Electrical, Plumbing, and Zoning Permits* are required for photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the city of Denver, although more complex engineering projects may still be required to go through the Plan Review process.

Permitting Process

To obtain Zoning Permits for flush mounted solar panels, applicants must have roof plan showing that the solar panels are installed parallel and within one foot of the roof surface they are placed on and at least 2 foot dimension between the solar panels and the edge of the roof. All calculations performed by a Colorado registered professional engineer shall be submitted to the Division to substantiate that the structure can support the design loads specified. Details and calculations for the panel connections to the roof shall be included. Zoning Permit applications for all other solar panel systems require a site plan, roof concept plan, and elevation plans.

Applicants for an Electrical Permit for solar PV systems are required to provide two sets of plans including one-line diagrams, supporting calculations, and equipment catalog sheets.


Zoning and Building Permit fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials. Although fees for solar panels are capped at $50 for all permits, total construction fee schedules should be verified with the city of Denver on a case-by-case basis. When Same Day Review is required for the #1R permit, a "walk through" fee of $100 may be charged in addition to the building permit fees, depending on the valuation of the project.


*A Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness is also required if the PV system is being installed in a Landmark District or on a designated landmark structure. The approval typically takes one to three weeks. More complex projects or projects requiring Landmark Preservation Commission or Lower Downtown Design Review Board approval will take longer.

  City/County of Denver
Department of Development Services
201 W. Colfax Avenue Dept 203
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (720) 865-2982
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.