The City of Eden Prairie is fostering increased used of solar energy to reduce energy-related green house gas emissions as part of its Sustainable Eden Prairie initiative.
In 2017 the City joined SolSmart, a solar designation program designed to help cities, counties and other local government organizations make it faster, easier and more affordable to install solar on homes and businesses. To help communities achieve designation, SolSmart provides no-cost technical assistance from a team of national experts who work to evaluate programs and practices that impact solar markets, and identify high-prospect opportunities for improvement.
Contact the City's Sustainability Coordinator with questions about the City's participation in SolSmart.
The City is committed to working with residents and businesses to make permitting for installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems simple and economical.
The process includes:
- Permits for residential and commercial properties are required
- Residential permit approval takes one to three business days
- Commercial permit approval takes longer due to a more complex review process
- Approval process begins after application is completed in its entirety
Electrical permits are also required for solar PV systems and are issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
General Solar PV Building Requirements
Roof-mounted solar PV systems on residential and commercial units shall be installed in accordance to the Minnesota Building Code. Requirements for these units include roof access, pathways and spacing.
Exception: Residential structures must be designed so each solar array is no greater than 150 feet by 150 feet in either axis.
Roof access points must be located in areas where fire department ground ladders would not be placed over openings such as windows or doors. Roof access points must be located at strong points of building construction where the access point does not have overhead obstructions such as tree limbs, wires or signs.
Contact the City's Building Inspections Division with questions.
- City of Eden Prairie Building Permit [PDF]
- Two sets of building plans as supplemental information that meet the following requirements:
- Flashing detail
- Roof array layout
- Residential solar PV installations must comply with the general building requirements and the residential building requirements.
- State of Minnesota Electrical Permit
Residential Solar PV Building Requirements
Solar PV systems on residential units shall be installed in accordance to the Minnesota Building Code:
- Residential buildings with hip roof layouts must have the installed panels or modules located in a way that provides a 3-feet-wide clear access pathway from the eave to the ridge on each roof slope where the panels or modules are located
- Residential buildings with a single ridge must have the installed panels or modules located in a way that provides two 3-feet-wide clear access pathways from the eave to the ridge on each roof slope where panels or modules are located
- Residential buildings with roof hips and valleys must have the installed panels or modules located no closer than 18 inches to a hip or valley where panels or modules will be places on both sides of a hip or valley; if panels will only be located on one side of a hip or valley that is of equal length, panels are permitted to be placed directly adjacent to the hip or valley
- To comply with smoke ventilation requirements, panels or modules installed on residential buildings must be located no higher than 3 feet below the ridge to allow for fire department smoke ventilation operations.
- City of Eden Prairie Building Permit Application [PDF]
- Two sets of building plans as supplemental information that meet structural/architectural and electrical requirements
- Commercial solar PV installations must comply with general building requirements and commercial building requirements
- State of Minnesota Electrical Permit
Commercial Solar PV Building Requirements
Solar PV systems on commercial units shall be installed in accordance to the Minnesota Building Code.
- There must be a minimum 6-feet-wide clear perimeter around the edges of the roof
- Exception: Where either access of the building is 250 feet or less, there must be a minimum 4-feet-wide clear perimeter around the edges of the roof
- Solar installation must be designed to provide designated pathways for emergencies that meet the following requirements:
- Pathway must be over areas that can support the load of firefighters accessing the roof
- Centerline access pathways must be provided in both axes of the roof and run where the roof structure can support the load of firefighters
- Pathway must be a straight line that is not less than 4 feet clear to skylights, ventilation hatches or roof standpipes
- Pathway must provide not less than 4 feet of clearance around a roof access hatch with at least one clear pathway not less than 4 feet to a parapet or roof edge
Ground-mounted solar arrays are regulated as accessory structures and have different permitting and zoning requirements than roof-mounted solar arrays.
Contact the Building Inspections Division for more information.