Solar Panels

This guideline has been developed to identify the minimal submittal requirements for a permit application to install photovoltaic (solar) panels. The information provided contains, and is not all-inclusive to, the City of Wheaton’s adopted Building Codes, Ordinances, and inspections required for this type of project. Please review this information and call the phone numbers provided should you have any questions.

Required Submittals
The following documents, forms, and/or permits must be submitted prior to a plan review. Referenced forms are available on the Building and Code Enforcement website and can be accessed throughout this document by following the appropriate link.

  1. Application for Permit
    When filling out the application for permit, include all required information that is pertinent to the proposed scope of work such as; site address, description of work, all contractors to be used on the job and their respective costs per trade, total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc. Please refer to the document titled Building Application for Permit.
  2. Contractor Registration - Please see the Contractor Registration Guideline.
  3. Commonwealth Edison Approval Letter
    Anyone connecting to the Commonwealth Edison grid must first obtain approval from Commonwealth Edison. Please submit the approval letter from Commonwealth Edison once they have granted connection approval. For details on their process, please visit the following site:  https://www.comed.com/SmartEnergy/InnovationTechnology/Pages/GettingStartedWithSolar.aspx
  4. Architectural Plans & Additional Construction Documentation
    Submit two (2) complete sets of architectural plans that have been signed and sealed by a licensed Illinois Design Professional that demonstrate that either the existing structure can support all proposed imposed loads or detail the required structural changes necessary to achieve structural compliance; and any other required documentation that will be necessary to complete the review of the construction documents.

The Architectural Plans must be drawn to scale, presented in architectural style, and include the entire scope of work that is to be performed. All submitted plans should indicate the specific elements of the home (such as roof vents, electrical features, mechanical equipment, plumbing vents, skylights, etc.), indicate all dimensions, and label all indicated features. The plans should include the following:

Cross Section:
The cross-section shall depict the overall specifics of the structural roof assembly (rafter sizes and spacing, roof sheathing material and thickness, roof finish materials, and the photovoltaic panels (placement and method of attachment). All building materials and system features must be identified and specifics (such as grade, dimensions, and framing member size and spacing) for these materials must be provided.

Elevations:
Please provide elevations of the home depicting the installation of the proposed system. Be sure to include all of the specifics indicated such as the photovoltaic panels, the location of the associated equipment, exterior finish materials, all windows and doors, the roofing materials, any decks or porches, and any other specifications that are unique to the exterior of the home.

Roof Structural Plan (Plan View)
The plan view should include the structural specifics of the roof. The plan must include all rafter sizes, spacing, and spans; all hip and valley rafter sizes; roof venting type, sizes, and locations; and any other pertinent information unique to your project (such as skylight locations and framing requirements). Any proposed work to the roof that will adjust or reinforce the existing roof must be indicated on this plan with specific structural details.

Photovoltaic Panel Array Plan:
A roof plan that indicates the location of the photovoltaic panels, be sure to include the following information:

  • The dimensions of each separate Array;
  • The distance from the array to the roof edge (a minimum of 18” if the array covers less than 33% of the roof plane, a minimum of 36” if the array covers more than 33% of the roof plane);
  • The distance from the array to the roof ridge (a minimum of 18” if the array covers less than 33 of the roof plane, a minimum of 36” if the array covers more than 33% of the roof plane);
  • The distance from roof features that require clearance (such as roof vents, plumbing vents, exhaust vents, skylights, etc.).

Electrical Plan
Provide a line diagram of the layout of the proposed system. Please indicate the components of the entire system (from electrical meter tie-in to the photovoltaic panels) and their location within the proposed system. Please include all conduit and conductor types and sizes that are serving each component within the system. Arc-fault protection is required for photovoltaic systems with a maximum system voltage of 80 volts or greater. The system shall have an annunciator that provides a visual indication that the circuit interrupter has operated. Please include the location of the electrical service panel within the home.

Manufacturer Specifications and Details for the Photovoltaic (Solar) Panel System:
Please submit the manufacturer specifications for each component of the proposed system which must specify the product listing. Information provided should include the photovoltaic panels, the inverter, the disconnect, and any other pertinent items that are integral components of the specific system.

Current Codes
See document titled Current Codes that identifies codes that may be applicable to your construction project.

Inspections
The inspections listed here are required for all solar photovoltaic installation projects. Additional inspections may be needed based upon the scope of work for your project. If you are required to have additional inspections, they will be listed on your Plan Approval Notice that will be attached to the approved plans.

Type of Inspection
When to Call
Rough Framing; Rough Electrical; for any new installations or modifications to existing systems
Rough inspections must be conducted once all rough-in’s are complete, but prior to concealment.
Final
Conducted when the project is complete.

To schedule an inspection, please call 630-260-2050 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Plumbing inspections are available on Tuesday or Thursday only. Please allow for a minimum of 24 hours notice when scheduling inspections. Plumbing inspections must be scheduled no later than 3:30 p.m. the day before the desired inspection date. For further information, please see Inspection Scheduling Guideline.

Significant Codes - Zoning
See document titled Summary of Bulk Regulations for Single Family Residence.

Permit Fees
For associated Planning, Engineering and Building fees, please refer to Appendix B7 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Community Development Fees".

For associated Sewer and Water fees, please refer to Appendix B8 Fee Schedule per the Wheaton City Code - "Public Works/Sewer & Water Fees".

Websites
https://www.comed.com/SmartEnergy/InnovationTechnology/Pages/GettingStartedWithSolar.aspx
Commonwealth Edison “Getting Started with My Solar” information website

Contact Us
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
Address: 303 W. Wesley Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone Calls:

  • Inspection Scheduling - 630-260-2050
  • Planning & Zoning Department - 630-260-2080
  • Fax - 630-260-2195 (contractor registrations, certificates of insurance & bonds)

Business hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Revised 2/10/2012