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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI PowerClerk Application Instructions

    Process Summary 

     
     
    STEP 1 – FIND AN INSTALLER 

    Except for those systems that are self-installed, all systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State of California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Solar installation contractors must have an A, B, C-10 or a C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems.

    PWP strongly suggests hiring an experienced licensed solar contractor to design and install solar systems. Licensed and experienced contractors are the key to a successful installation and optimal solar generation.

    Solar energy systems must be designed and installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and with all applicable electrical, building, and fire codes and standards.

    Typically, the solar installer will apply for PSI incentives on the customer's behalf, apply for local permits, and arrange for the solar system to be interconnected to the utility power grid. Installers must be familiar with PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation (Regulation 21) and  Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23) including  metering requirements.

    The State of California provides a list of pre-qualified solar installers online at http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/database/search-new.php. Searching for a solar installer by zip code is the fastest way to find a solar installer closest to you, although any licensed contractor may work on your project. Solar installers typically provide free site evaluations, comprehensive quotes and payback information.

    PWP recommends evaluating at least three (3) different contractors and consider doing the following:


    1. Check the status of Contractor License at www.cslb.ca.gov. License must be an active A, B, C-10, or C-46 in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the PSI Program.

    2. Check references. One of the most reliable sources for business references is the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

    3. Examine customer feedback. Conduct internet searches, talk to those who may have used this contractor, etc. in an effort to find out as much information as possible.
     

    While PWP does not certify or recommend PV equipment manufacturers or installers, these internet resources may help you locate potential PV installers:

    Energy Efficiency

    Making your home or business facility energy efficient before you install solar energy is essential to making your system as economical and efficient as possible. Energy-saving actions—such as changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps, and replacing old, inefficient appliances with the most efficient Energy Star rated appliances—are the best way to save energy and money while providing real, lasting benefits to the environment. Energy efficiency measures also help reduce the size of the solar system you need, saving you thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs. Speak to your installer to determine what kind and size of solar power system is right for you. 

    Please note the PSI program requires an “Energy Efficiency (EE) Audit/Assessment Report” for all solar installations. Consider implementing at home or facility as many energy efficiency measures identified in the EE report. These measures will not only result in a reduction of electrical usage and utility bills, but also a smaller solar system and lower capital investment.

    Residential customers can fulfill the EE requirement by completing and submitting a copy of the report from the Home Energy Calculator available on our website.

    For non-residential solar installations, installer/customer must complete an EE audit of the facility. Customer or facility staff may complete the EE Assessment report or hire a third-party company for assistance.

     
    STEP 2 – SUBMIT ONLINE APPLICATION AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS THROUGH POWERCLERK

    Installers must request have access to PowerClerk prior to submitting applications to Pasadena Water and Power.  If you would like access to PowerClerk, please complete the "PowerClerk Access Request Form" and submit to solar@cityofpasadena.net or fax to 626-396-7742.  PWP allows a maximum of two (2) participants per company.

    The following documents are required to be uploaded in PowerClerk:

    a.) PSI Application Request Form. A printout of the Application Request Form must be signed by person listed on the electric bill, Installer, and Applicant. A signed application must be submitted through PowerClerk.

    To add a spouse to PWP account, customer will need to call PWP’s Call Center at 626-744-4005.

    For non-residential accounts, the individual signing the Application Request Form and all supporting documents must be authorized to sign documents on behalf of the corporation/organization/company such “owner of a proprietorship” or “officer of a corporation”. Otherwise, an Authorization Letter, printed on a company letterhead and signed by the President or Board of Directors, must be submitted.

    Make sure to include in the application a correct email address for the customer. PWP will include customers in all communication regarding their solar installation.

    b.) Electrical Drawings or Single Line Diagram. Provide a Single Line Diagram or complete set of electrical drawings showing the electrical relationship and descriptions of the significant electrical components such as: PV modules, inverters, electrical service, DC disconnects, AC disconnects, utility meter, performance meter, junction boxes, wiring specs, the primary switchgear, secondary switchboard, protective relays, transformers, generators, circuit breakers, with operating voltages, capacities, and protective functions of the Generating Facility, the Customer’s loads, and the interconnection with PWP’s Distribution System.

    If final drawings are not available at the time of application, submit two complete sets of conceptual drawings providing the minimum necessary attributes of the solar PV system Design. For a list of the necessary attributes, click here. 

    c.) Copy of the Site Plan showing the physical relationship of the significant electrical components. Site Plan must show the approximate location of all major electric components including solar modules, inverters, performance meter, Main Service Panel, utility meter, combiner boxes, and the Utility AC Manual Disconnect switch. Here is a SAMPLE. 

    d.) Shading Analysis Report generated with the use of a solar assessment tool such as the “Solar Pathfinder,” "Solmetric" or any equivalent technology.

      • For small systems, a shading analysis must be done for each separate solar array by placing the instrument at the center of where the array will be located and taking a reading.
      • For larger systems or  irregular shaped panels, a shading measurement must be taken at major each corner.
      • For more information about proper shading input requirements, please refer to Section 7 in the CSI Incentive Calculator User Guide.  

    e.) The Net Metering and Surplus Compensation Enrollment form. Please note the “Monthly/Bimonthly” billing option pays a higher compensation than the “Annual” billing option for excess energy generated by the solar system. More information on compensation for the system's net surplus electricity can be found here.

    f.)  Copy of the Signed Contract between Customer and Installer. For leased installations, provide a complete copy of the Signed Lease Contract.  For commercial, non-profit and government institutions, a signed letter on company letterhead clearly stating the name of the selected solar vendor is sufficient while the contract is pending approval by the Board of Directors.

    g.) Copy of Customer's Electric Bill. Name in the solar application must match the name on the PWP electric bill. Call PWP’s Call Center at 626-744-4005 to add a spouse to PWP account.

    h.)  Interconnection Agreement  

    • For systems up 15 kW AC-CEC, submit in PowerClerk a PDF signed copy of the Small Solar Generator Interconnection Agreement.  
    • For systems larger than 15 kW AC-CEC, mail to PWP two (2) original signed (wet signature)   Interconnection and Metering Agreement (both copies must have original signature from customer). Copies of the agreement are not accepted.
    • Mail Interconnection and Metering Agreements (For systems larger than 15 kW AC-CEC ONLY) to:
      Pasadena Water and Power
      Attn: Pasadena Solar Initiative
      150 S. Los Robles Ave. Suite 200
      Pasadena, CA 91101
       

    I.) Letter of approval from the Home Owners Association's Board of Directors (if applicable.)

    ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN POWERCLERK FOR INCOME-QUALIFYING SOLAR APPLICATIONS

     

    STEP 3 – PWP APPLICATION APPROVAL & RESERVATION 

    Pasadena Water and Power staff will review application and verify required documents for completeness and accuracy.

    The best approach for a fast review and approval of solar applications is to make sure the solar installation meets all PWP requirements and the solar application and all the supporting documents are free of errors.

    When the application is approved,  PWP will email the "Approval and Reservation Letter" to both customer and installer. Installer (or customer) must bring this email to Permit Center when applying for a building permit to the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development.  

    Once the solar application is approved by PWP, solar incentives will be reserved for the application for a limited time. In order to receive the amount shown in the Approval and Reservation Letter, solar installation must be completed within 9 months of the application approval for existing facilities (Retrofit), and within 18 months for new construction, including remodeling, additions, etc.

    If the application is not approved, the application will be put in “SUSPENDED” status in PowerClerk and corrections will be noted for every “Rejected” document.

    Vendors/installers who need assistance from PWP during the conceptual PV system design, must pay the Initial Review fee as specified in the “Application and Interconnection Process’ Section of PWP’s Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23).

    STEP 4 – BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION  

    A building permit from the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development is required before installing the solar system.

    Installer (or customer) must bring "Approval and Reservation Letter" email from PWP when applying for a building permit from the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development. 

    Permit Center is located at 175 North Garfield Ave. Pasadena, during our business hours, (Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)For more information in how to obtain a building permit, visit the Permit Center website or call 626-744-6646

    STEP 5 – SOLAR SYSTEM INSTALLATION  

    The solar energy system must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer’s specifications and in compliance with all applicable electrical, building, and fire code standards.

    Installers must be familiar with PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation (Regulation 21 )  and  Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23) including  metering requirements.

    A Performance Meter is required for all solar installations. The performance meter is purchased and installed by customer/installer.

    The AC Manual Utility Disconnect Switch is required for all solar installations and it must be installed within eight (8) feet from the utility's electrical Point of Connection.

    >> Click Program Eligibility and Requirements for additional information on meter requirements.

    STEP 6 – SOLAR SYSTEM INSPECTION

    As part of the installation process, the solar installer generally handles all the permits required by the city. When the solar system is installed, Building and Fire inspectors from the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development will verify that the system conforms to fire, electrical building and safety codes.

    After the solar system passes inspection, the solar system must remain in the off position. Turning the solar system on before a solar meter is installed by the utility may cause billing errors and additional charges on the customer's electric bill. 

    Please note, solar systems larger than 15 kW AC-CEC will not be allowed to interconnect to the grid until PWP’s Interconnection and Metering Agreement is fully executed (signed) by both the customer and the City of Pasadena AND customer has received written authorization or "Permission to Operate" letter from PWP.

    STEP 7 – REQUEST FOR "PERMISSION TO OPERATE"

    PWP inspects all solar installations before they are authorized to connect to the electric grid. PWP personnel may inspect, test and verify that the system was installed as designed and specified in the original application and the equipment functions properly.

    The following documents are required to be submitted through PowerClerk:

    • Copy of the Building Final Inspection Sign-off
    • As-built Site Plan, if as-built installation is different that the system reviewed and approved by PWP
    • As-built Electrical Drawings, if as-built installation is different that the system reviewed and approved by PWP

    As-built modifications include changes in equipment type, capacity, layout, location, orientation, tilt, shading, etc.

    Pasadena Water and Power will replace existing utility meter with a new Net-Meter capable of spinning and recording net energy in both directions if installation passes PWP Field Inspection.

     
    STEP 8 – "PERMISSION TO OPERATE" GRANTED

    As soon as the solar installation passes PWP Field Inspection and a solar meter has been installed at the premises, PWP will issue “Permission to Operate” letter authorizing customer to operate solar system.

    It is the responsibility of the installer to turn the solar system on.

    “Permission To Operate” letter will not be issued for the solar system if there are any pending electrical work at the premise such as an electrical service upgrade.

    STEP 9 – SUBMIT INCENTIVE PAYMENT REQUEST FORM 

     The following documents are required to be submitted though PowerClerk:

    • Latest version of the "PSI Incentive Request Form" from PowerClerk.  This form must reflect "as-built" conditions of the installation.
    • Copy of Permit fees receipt
    • Copy of Energy Efficiency Audit Report. Residential customers can fulfill this requirement by providing proof of completing the Home Energy Calculator. Non-residential customers must contact their PWP Account Manager, who may assist customers to fulfill the audit requirement.
    • Copy of the Itemized Sales Invoice or Bill of Materials. At a minimum, the Final Sales Invoice needs to indicate the specific cost of the inverter, modules, labor, and a grand total.  Additional information can be listed but is not required.
    • Signed copy of PSI Payment Assignment Form (if applicable). Customer may agree to assign the PSI incentive payment to a Third-Party by completing the PSI Payment Assignment Form.
     

     
     
    STEP 10 –REBATE CHECK

    PWP will review and approve Incentive Payment Request documents and request rebate check for this installation.

    Customer or Payment Assignee will receive a rebate check within 2-3 weeks after documents listed in Step 10 were received and approved by PWP staff.


    COMMENTS/QUESTIONS

    If you have comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the Pasadena Solar Initiative, please call the Answerline at 626-744-6970 during regular business hours or write to solar@cityofpasadena.net 


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