Photovoltaic Systems FAQ

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Is a permit required to install a photovoltaic system (PV/Solar Panels)?

Yes a permit is required to install a photovoltaic system inside City Limits of Odessa. A permit is not required when located in the Extraterritorial Juridiction (ETJ).

If you are not sure the property is located outside City Limits please call the Building Inspection Department at (432) 335-3214 or send an email to Building Inspection.

You can obtain a permit application for a photovoltaic system here (enter Link here).

What codes has your city adopted for photovoltaic systems (PV/Solar Panels)?

The city of Odessa has adopted the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC), 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), 2018 International Building Code (IBC).

When installing a PV system on residential, it shall comply with the 2017 NEC and 2018 IRC. When installing a PV system on a commercial building, it shall comply with the 2017 NEC and 2018 IBC.

What is required to submit for a PV system?

You will need to submit 2 sets of paper plans and all required documents or you may submit a digital set in PDF format to Building Inspection.


Required documents to submit for review:

  • Electrical contractor permit application and PV check list.
  • Copy of inverter manufacture information sheets.
  • Copy of module manufacture information sheets.
  • Copy of rail/racking system manufacture information sheets and method of attachment.
  • Type of roof covering.
  • Type of roof framing.
  • Does the proposed equipment installation cause the roof load assembly to exceed the maximum requirement of 10 psf per the IRC?
  • Number of modules to be installed
  • Where will the modules be installed? Roof/Accessory Structure/Ground or Pole Mounted
  • Site plan showing system installed on property. Site plan must include the following: modules, inverter(s), combiner boxes, all ac & dc disconnects and meter, service panelboard.
  • upon inspection an inspector may ask for a letter from a Texas Structural Engineer with his stamp verifying that the existing roof structure is adequate for the increased loads from the installed array(s)

Electrical information to be shown on plans:

  • Copy of one-line diagram.
  • Connection to utlility grid
  • Supply side connection
  • Load side connection
  • Panelboard ampere rating
  • Main breaker/back feed breaker amps
  • System Configuration
  • Positive ground
  • Negative ground
  • Ungrounded
  • Are Batteries being installed
Are there any zoning restrictions for solar panels?

At this time there are no zoning restrictions on solar panels however when installing in a private subdivision or in an area where a homeowners association (HOA) is active you will need to inquire with the HOA.

Do you enfroce the 3' fire setbacks on the roof for installed solar panels?

All code requirements must be met including fire setbacks.

Do you require structural, electrical or both engineering stamps on plans?

At this time we are not requiring structural or electrical engineered plans however this is subject to change in the near future. Also anytime upon inspection an inspector may ask for a letter from a Texas Structural Engineer with his stamp verifying that the existing roof structure is adequate for the increased loads from the installed array(s).