How much time will a solar energy system installation take?
One of the most common questions about a solar energy system installation is how long it will take. From the moment you sign the contract to start the installation process and project, there will be multiple steps that will eventually conclude with the solar energy system running on your property. There are also multiple factors throughout the project that also affect the time it takes for these steps to complete.
How long will the entire process take?
The entire installation process will roughly take three months, although this can go up to 6 months. Some prerequisites need to be done before the installation. Once they are completed, the installation process can begin. Afterward, you will need to wait for your utility company to allow the interconnection of your solar energy system to the electrical grid. Each phase takes time, and we will explain how they add up to the entire installation process.
When we accept your signed contract, we will keep you informed of the preparations that need to be done before we can install your solar energy system. We work closely with our customers to keep them informed, throughout the entire process. We will notify you of the schedule for your solar energy system installation.
We will also start with the process of filing permits for your solar energy system. These permits vary between locations, although they generally include a photovoltaic (PV) specific permit, a general electrical permit, and/or a construction permit. If you want to take advantage of incentives and tax credits, we can also help you apply for them. The process of getting permits will depend on your local permitting office. This can take between one week to over a month, depending on the number of permits and how the office operates. If your solar energy system is tied to the electrical grid, we will send an application to your utility company. The application for the grid connection could take roughly two to three weeks to complete, although this will depend on your utility company.
Before installing, we will also check if your property is suitable for your solar energy system. More often than not, most properties are ready for solar panel installation. If you are planning home improvements like re-roofing, roof reinforcements, or electrical panel upgrades. They can set back the time it takes to install your solar energy system, especially if they are needed for your system. Some of these upgrades can be done while installing your solar energy system, although roof-related improvements will need to be done beforehand.
Installing your Solar Energy System
Once all of the preparations and permits are approved, we can begin the installation process of your solar energy system. This is the quickest part of the entire process. A residential solar energy system can be installed within a few days. While a commercial solar energy system can range from one week to a few months. Installations will depend on the number of the components, and the complexity of your system.
If your solar energy system is ground-mounted, more time will be needed. The foundation for the solar energy system will need to be built, then there is also the process of trenching your land for the wiring between the system and your home. The size of the system and also the distance from your property will also affect the installation.
After your solar energy system is installed we can’t just turn it on right away. Firstly, your local government will send out an inspector to check your solar energy system and see if it meets standards. This process can take somewhere within a week from the date of the inspection request and depends on your local government office.
A representative from your utility company will also need to inspect your solar energy system and approve it for electrical grid connection. This part of the process can also involve installing a new electrical meter that allows net metering. The amount of time this approval process will take will depend on your utility company. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), it takes one to two weeks to officially get your permission to operate (PTO).
Get started with solar energy today
If you are looking to start your transition to solar energy, we are ready to help you through the whole process. Our website also has a free online estimate tool that generates a personalized report for you from a simplified questionnaire. That report will contain the potential savings you can net, and the cost of a solar energy system installed on your property. You can also contact us directly via phone at +1 (602) 363-8919 or via email at Scott@elitesolarenergy.org for more information regarding solar energy for your property.