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Permitting for Residential Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Ever thought about installing solar panels on your roof?

Concerned about the complexity of the permit process?

Wondering where to go for help?

As part of a federal Department of Energy grant, Bellevue and other grant partners (Seattle, Edmonds and Ellensburg) have developed a streamlined process for the permitting of small-scale solar installations for single-family residential customers. Bellevue Development Services staff familiar with solar installations are available to help.

All solar photovoltaic (PV) systems require an electrical permit and, in some cases, a building permit.

  • The streamlined process establishes a threshold for when a building permit is not needed.
  • It allows the use of template, one-line diagrams for an electrical permit. The template consists of an electrical diagram you can modify to reflect project-specific details and requires the submittal of the plan sheets along with the manufacture's specifications for the proposed PV panels.
  • After a contractor has successfully submitted a basic electrical permit, all future applications may qualify for over-the-counter (OTC) review.


Step 1:  Presubmittal
Contact the City of Bellevue for general information and application forms (425-452-4898). Fill out and submit the following forms and documents:

o   Electrical permit application

o   Checklist for Residential Small Scale Solar PV Systems -- Rooftop-Mounted

o   Standard Electrical Diagram Template

 Step 2:  Application Submittal and Intake
Submit the application, forms and template plan to the Development Services Center.
Step 3:  Application Review
If this is your first application, meet with electrical review staff to go over the plans.
If it’s not your first application and qualifies for OTC, the permit will be issued.
Step 4:  Permit Issuance
Receive the permit. Pay the fees.
Step 5:  Inspection

After the PV panels are installed, call 425-452-6875 for inspection or request online at MyBuildingPermit.com.
If the project is per plan, there are no further steps.
If the project is not per plan, it may require plan review after issuance.

NOTE:  If you are do not qualify for the streamlined process or are doing a commercial project, you will need to apply for both a building permit and a separate electrical permit with plan review. See Application Packets.


Contacts: Bellevue staff familiar with solar PV installations are available to answer questions and help you through the permitting process.

Heidi Bedwell, Land Use Planner
hbedwell@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4862

Tim Hingtgen, Electrical Review and Inspection Supervisor
thingtgen@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-7911

Bob A. Johnston, Electrical Reviewer
bajohnston@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4574

Bruce Reynolds, Electrical Inspector
breynolds@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4331

Tom Miller, Building Review Supervisor
tmiller@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-5369


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