Alternative Energy Source

For the installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy Systems on residential and commercial properties, see below for permit submittal requirements and general construction information. For other Alternative Energy Source project categories such as solar thermal systems or geothermal systems, contact Development and Planning Services at 847-664-4050.

A CORRECT & COMPLETE SUBMITTAL WILL ENSURE A 3-DAY PERMIT TURNAROUND.

Solar PV Permit Applications:


Application Fees & Deposits


  • Residential Building Construction and Inspection Fee - $130 (No deposit required)
  • Commercial Building Construction and Inspection Fee to be determined based upon the scale of the project

General Drawing Requirements

Please submit 3 copies of each set of drawings; 4 copies required for large commercial and / or ground mounted arrays.

  • 11" x 17" format preferred for residential projects
  • 24" x 26" maximum preferred for commercial projects
  • Cover sheet with location map, sheet index, applicable codes and PV system size (DC/AC)
  • Site plan / plat of survey required for all commercial and all ground mounted PV projects
  • Roof plan(s) with layout of panels to scale incorporating all applicable code-required fire setbacks
  • Rack roof-mounting plans / details for all conditions
  • For all structure mounted arrays, State of Illinois Licensed Design Professional sealed assessments
  • Electrical line diagrams, applicable notes and warning labels sheets
  • Indicate appropriated access and clearances for all installed disconnect switches, inverters and panels
  • (1) copy of equipment specifications and manufacturer cut sheets with all equipment listed and labeled per code

Contractor Requirements


  • A general contractor is not required for a small residential solar PV project, however an electrical contractor is required for all residential and commercial solar PV projects
  • Electrical contractors must have a current Village of Northbrook electrical contractor license
  • Photovolltaic installers must submit credentials prior to permit issuance to comply with the Northbrook municipal amendment to NEC 690.4(C): Solar Panel Installer Requirements (PDF)

Inspection Checklists for Residential PV System:


  • General:
    • A qualified electrician must be on site with appropriate tools.
    • Approved stamped plans must be on site.
    • Provide photographs of all on-roof and in-attic work, including:
      • mounting of rails;
      • grounding of rails (all wire-connected grounding connections);
      • open and closed junction boxes (esp. if under the panels); and
      • conduits in attics.
  • Rough Electrical Inspection:
    • Rails, piping and ground must be installed, however no solar panels are to be installed.
  • Final Electrical Inspection:
    • All equipment must be installed.
        • Special Note:  Compliance with code-required clearances for access to equipment (disconnect switches / inverters / panels) must be met on every project or re-installation will be required.

        Inspections for Commercial PV Systems will be determined based upon the scale of the project