PV Installations

mannyb

Senior Member
I hear getting started in PV installations is rough. There are alot of requirements by POCO. If its an existing store or building the service isnt large enough for new load. A New meter would require permitting and A and E. As an EC doing PV installs, are you offering your own design and construction for new and existing installs? or using a engineering firm for design and build? Im trying understand how most PV installs are awarded.
 
I hear getting started in PV installations is rough. There are alot of requirements by POCO. If its an existing store or building the service isnt large enough for new load. A New meter would require permitting and A and E. As an EC doing PV installs, are you offering your own design and construction for new and existing installs? or using a engineering firm for design and build? Im trying understand how most PV installs are awarded.
I think it varies a lot by area, POCO, and size of system. For resi systems here in upstate NY with national grid, they dont really care about anything. I typically change to a class 320 meter base for my larger ground mounts and I usually dont even need to get it inspected. Now get into a much larger system POCO probably needs to do an engineering study on the line, you need to fills out stacks of paperwork, and there may even be medium voltage work involved.

For me, I do the design. Currently I just do mid to large resi systems, but I would be fine doing all the design and engineering for systems up to a few megawatts, there isnt really that much to it, really just string sizing and voltage drop. Of course some jurisdictions or POCOS may require formal engineering over a certain size.
 

mannyb

Senior Member
I think it varies a lot by area, POCO, and size of system. For resi systems here in upstate NY with national grid, they dont really care about anything. I typically change to a class 320 meter base for my larger ground mounts and I usually dont even need to get it inspected. Now get into a much larger system POCO probably needs to do an engineering study on the line, you need to fills out stacks of paperwork, and there may even be medium voltage work involved.

For me, I do the design. Currently I just do mid to large resi systems, but I would be fine doing all the design and engineering for systems up to a few megawatts, there isnt really that much to it, really just string sizing and voltage drop. Of course some jurisdictions or POCOS may require formal engineering over a certain size.
I apologize. I meant EV charging. I posted my question but got caught up watch Astros vs Red Sox. My question was towards EV charging station installation and design.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I think it varies a lot by area, POCO, and size of system. For resi systems here in upstate NY with national grid, they dont really care about anything. I typically change to a class 320 meter base for my larger ground mounts and I usually dont even need to get it inspected. Now get into a much larger system POCO probably needs to do an engineering study on the line, you need to fills out stacks of paperwork, and there may even be medium voltage work involved.

For me, I do the design. Currently I just do mid to large resi systems, but I would be fine doing all the design and engineering for systems up to a few megawatts, there isnt really that much to it, really just string sizing and voltage drop. Of course some jurisdictions or POCOS may require formal engineering over a certain size.
If this is Otsego or Herkimer counties and I think even Schoharie county they require permits for this type of electrical work as it is not just a disconnect/reconnect or repair situation. If it is not inspected the permit will not be cleared. And any such non permitted and non inspected installation in event of a fire (even if not related) will comback to "who did the added on installation of the non permitted work?". And I don't know of any HO that wouldn't throw the electrician "under the bus". Even if every peice of what you did was correct.
AFA POCO requirements, NAT GRID is probably the easiest going around here and may even let you perform the reset of the meter and hand you a tag to do it, but they will require an inspection to be called in if there was a disconnect/reconnect order placed. If however you are performing all "on the sly", you are likely correct on all counts, BUT if something was to go wrong, liability insurance alone might not be enough.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I hear getting started in PV installations is rough. There are alot of requirements by POCO. If its an existing store or building the service isnt large enough for new load. A New meter would require permitting and A and E. As an EC doing PV installs, are you offering your own design and construction for new and existing installs? or using a engineering firm for design and build? Im trying understand how most PV installs are awarded.
I apologize. I meant EV charging. I posted my question but got caught up watch Astros vs Red Sox. My question was towards EV charging station installation and design.

I've had one municipality that required extensive documentation, justifying all peice of electrical installation for a new remodel of a commercial space with load calculations with code refences and mfg cut sheets as part of the permit process. None of the electrical was ever included on the engineers prints other than energy code compliance and then only by reference not actually designed or printed. This left it to me to prove the design and get it approved by the planning board.
AFA this being an EV station not PV installation, that is by far much simpler calculation and design, but better check with the municipality as to what is required for their permitting process. They may require an engineer's stamped plan or not.
If the Muni is one that requires engineer, One option might be to get an engineer to make you a boiler plate for a couple of size systems that you can submit. I know of a couple of companies that use boiler plate.
 
If this is Otsego or Herkimer counties and I think even Schoharie county they require permits for this type of electrical work as it is not just a disconnect/reconnect or repair situation. If it is not inspected the permit will not be cleared. And any such non permitted and non inspected installation in event of a fire (even if not related) will comback to "who did the added on installation of the non permitted work?". And I don't know of any HO that wouldn't throw the electrician "under the bus". Even if every peice of what you did was correct.
AFA POCO requirements, NAT GRID is probably the easiest going around here and may even let you perform the reset of the meter and hand you a tag to do it, but they will require an inspection to be called in if there was a disconnect/reconnect order placed. If however you are performing all "on the sly", you are likely correct on all counts, BUT if something was to go wrong, liability insurance alone might not be enough.
To clarify, in these situations there is a permit for the PV system. What I am saying is, even if we have to rework the service as part of interconnecting the PV system, it all falls under the umbrella of the PV system. Grid doesn't assign ESR numbers for PV projects, so there is no inspection called in to national grid . I just have to send them "completion documents" which are vaguely defined and typically is just a statement saying I tested the system and it's functioning properly.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
To clarify, in these situations there is a permit for the PV system. What I am saying is, even if we have to rework the service as part of interconnecting the PV system, it all falls under the umbrella of the PV system. Grid doesn't assign ESR numbers for PV projects, so there is no inspection called in to national grid . I just have to send them "completion documents" which are vaguely defined and typically is just a statement saying I tested the system and it's functioning properly.
That is reasonable, correct regarding ESR, can't tell how many GC and handiman think they don't need a permit for the electrical work. Can be part of the general building permit, but Otsego does have a seperate electrical permit for any electrical work that is not just a repair.
An added inspection will come up is by NYSERDA for the PV installations that get some form of governmental funding or rebates.
 
That is reasonable, correct regarding ESR, can't tell how many GC and handiman think they don't need a permit for the electrical work. Can be part of the general building permit, but Otsego does have a seperate electrical permit for any electrical work that is not just a repair.
An added inspection will come up is by NYSERDA for the PV installations that get some form of governmental funding or rebates.
Yes we do get an inspection on the PV system for NYSERDA.

I have lived in otsego county my whole life and done electrical work here for 23 years, and I have never heard of anyone getting an electrical permit, and honestly I didn't even know the county offered one. Now If there is a building permit, there is a line item for electrical and then it gets 3rd party inspected.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Yes we do get an inspection on the PV system for NYSERDA.

I have lived in otsego county my whole life and done electrical work here for 23 years, and I have never heard of anyone getting an electrical permit, and honestly I didn't even know the county offered one. Now If there is a building permit, there is a line item for electrical and then it gets 3rd party inspected.
They've had a seperate form that they use if there are no other work other than the electrical being done for at least ten years that I know of. Covers PV and Generator installation also need permit, most guys didn't know this too.
It is a much simpler form without all the other non electrical information requested information, less than one page. Even the electrical permits gets the 3rd party inspection. This form was last revised in 2020 to include the new county seal.
<a href="http://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/a-c/code_enforcement/do.php">Your Link Name</a>
 
They've had a seperate form that they use if there are no other work other than the electrical being done for at least ten years that I know of. Covers PV and Generator installation also need permit, most guys didn't know this too.
It is a much simpler form without all the other non electrical information requested information, less than one page. Even the electrical permits gets the 3rd party inspection. This form was last revised in 2020 to include the new county seal.
<a href="http://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/a-c/code_enforcement/do.php">Your Link Name</a>
I'll get right on it 🤣
 
Electro how to you determine if the roof can support your install? Do you get structural engineering approval? Always wondered on that
It's usually not an issue if you look at the weight of the roof assembly and roofing, and then consider snow load of 40 lbs per SQ foot or whatever (WAG, I don't remember what it is for my area), and then consider solar panels weigh something like a couple pound per square foot......that said IIRC the state agency that provides solar incentives does require an engineering analysis (I mostly specialize in ground mounts and haven't dealt with a roof in a long time).
 
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