City of Nevada City, CA

City of Nevada City, CA


Find the latest resources and information available for installing solar power and expanding the solar market in Nevada City whether you're a resident, business, installer or local government agency.

The City is well positioned for solar market growth due to a mix of renewable energy goals and supportive policies. Transitioning to solar power not only provides environmental benefits like enhanced air quality, but it also delivers a host of economic benefits from green job creation to market development. Below, there is a direct link to the City's interactive policy roadmap designed to increase local solar installations by making it easier and more cost-effective to "go solar".

Nevada City is the county seat of Nevada County.

Community Profile

3,068 population
33% renewables by 2020
2 square miles

Residential Solar Potential

Upgrade to LEADER plan to display your community's solar potential.


The ASTI team has worked in close coordination with the City to develop a customized, interactive solar roadmap containing guidance on how to transform the local solar market. Each recommendation in the roadmap is supported with relevant reports, case studies, examples, and templates to support local and regional implementation efforts.

These roadmap goals are derived from attributes of successful solar communities nationwide, along with input from industry experts. Each goal represents a step toward making solar easier and more cost effective for all residents within the community. Your specific roadmap has been customized using the attributes that are relevant at the city-level in the local solar market.

Expand each focus area below to show its related goals, and click the 'Take Action' button to access the relevant resources designed to help you achieve these goals.

showPermitting Process

Current Progress:
6 of 14 goals achieved
Local Priority

[P1-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Use Standard Permit Application Materials Specific to PV Systems(32)

There is a standard building permit application form, but nothing specific to PV currently.

Standard application is available for systems <10kW. Using common permit materials, such as checklists and standard plans, across a region reduces permit submittal errors among contractors.

[P2] Make Permit Application Form Available Online(176)

Building permit application form available online, though no PV specific forms are currently in use.

[P3] Allow Electronic Submittal of Application Form(87)

Application form can be submitted in-person only.

Allow email submittal of permit application forms for qualifying projects.

[P4] Require only 1 Permit Application Submittal(164)

There is one building permit submittal required for residential and for commercial PV projects.

[P5-CA] Post Permit and Inspection Process Information and Fee Schedule Online(40)

Permit process description, point of contact, residential PV submittal requirements available online

Post all information regarding process steps, timelines, fees, point of contact, and any other pertinent information.

[P6] Streamline Permit Processing Time and Allow Expedited Process for Qualifying Projects(75)

Residential permits are issued/denied within 3 business days and commercial within 5 days

[P7-CA] Base Residential Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(55)

$250 PC approval and $50 for staff approval

[P8-CA] Base Commercial Permit Fee on Actual Cost to Administer(37)

$250 PC approval and $50 for staff approval

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(147)

Nevada County does building inspections.

Put information on the City's website to let residents and business owners know about the timeline for building inspections.

[P11-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Require only 1 Inspection Visit(6)

No information on inspection visit(s) currently available.

Only a single, final inspection visit is required for permit and interconnection together. Coordinate inspection among various agencies or schedule multiple agency inspections for the same time. This is an AB 2188 requirement for all rooftop systems under 10kW.

[P12-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Adopt an Inspection Checklist(13)

No inspection checklist currently in use.

Utilize a standard inspection checklist for PV systems. The checklist serves as a guide for inspectors and installers containing points of emphasis and common issues.

[P13-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Allow a Structural Exemption for Qualifying Systems(26)

No structural exemptions.

For qualifying residential systems meeting certain criteria, allow an exemption from structural analysis or structural PE stamp requirements.

[P14-CA] Understand New California Solar-Specific Building, Electrical, and Fire Codes (Title 24)(55)

Currently on 2014 NEC, awareness of recent solar updates.

[P15-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Adopt An Expedited Solar Permitting Ordinance(4)

No existing ordinance to streamline process for qualifying projects.

Create an ordinance to expedite and streamline the permitting process for residential rooftop solar energy systems under 10kW. This ordinance must substantially conform to the recommendations, standard plans and checklists found in the most updated version of the Office of Planning and Research's Solar Permitting Guidebook (OPR Guidebook).

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
4 of 7 goals achieved

[Z1-CA] Develop a Local Ordinance that Protects Solar Rights and Access(36)

State laws provide limited protection for solar rights and solar access. Some local laws exist.

City currently at best practice at the state-level. There is a local law that protects commercial property owners' right to install solar systems on their property. Consider creating additional local ordinances that go beyond the CA Solar Rights Act and Solar Shade Control Act, which would protect all property owners' right to install solar and ensure their property has unobstructed access to direct sunlight.

[Z2-CA] Develop a Local Ordinance that requires Solar Ready Construction(15)

Statewide solar ready requirements for new residential construction; no local ordinance.

City currently at best practice at the State level. Consider creating a municipal ordinance that goes beyond California's "solar zones" mandate in the 2013 CA Energy Code (ยง110.10).

[Z3] Require Solar on New Construction(4)

Solar is not required in new construction.

Explore implementing solar mandates for new construction for all buildings or a segment of the new building stock.

[Z4-CA] Incorporate Solar Priorities into Comprehensive, Energy or Climate Action Plans(45)

Focuses on some solar information in Energy Action Plan

[Z5-CA] Update Local Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations(32)

Zoning code does not specifically address solar.

Ensure the zoning codes and ordinances that govern solar installations do not adversely affect property owners' ability to install solar. CA Solar Rights Act requires that local governments use an administrative, non-discretionary review process for on-site solar energy systems.

[Z6-CA] Update Local Zoning Standards and Review for Solar Installations - Historic and Viewshed Areas(14)

Buildings within Historical District must go through Planning Commission process for solar approval.

[Z7] Limit Impact of Restrictive Private Covenants(81)

No restrictive ordinances creating a barrier to solar.

showFinancing Options

Current Progress:
0 of 2 goals achieved

[F6] Encourage Local Financial Stakeholders to Establish New Solar Loan Programs(63)

Limited engagement with financial stakeholders to establish new solar loan programs

Encourage local financial institutions to establish loan programs for solar energy systems.

[F7] Promote Availability of Existing Solar Finance Options and Evaluation Tools(38)

Limited promotion of solar finance options and tools

Publicize the availability of local solar finance options and solar evaluation tools for potential buyers. This can be done via webinars, marketing materials, or by providing links and information online.

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
0 of 5 goals achieved

[M1] Support Aggregate Procurement Program for Residential Sector(40)

No such programs known to exist locally.

Support the creation of a working group of community leaders and funding providers. This group would evaluate options and determine the most viable approach for aggregating residential solar based on best practices to determine the most viable approach for aggregating residential solar based on best practices to date.

[M3] Explore Implementation of Collaborative Procurement Program for Municipal Facilities and Schools(38)

No such programs known to exist locally.

Consider collaborating with agencies across the region to aggregate government facilities, including municipal buildings and schools, for solar evaluation and cost-effective procurement to demonstrate leadership and reduce energy costs while strengthening the economy and environment.

[M6] Explore Installing Solar at Municipal Facilities, Including Landfill and Water Treatment Facilities(62)

The City has or is considering installing solar at several municipal sites

Establish a working group to identify solar feasibility at additional municipal facilities, including landfill and water treatment sites.

[M7] Publicize Solar Workforce Development Resources and Industry Training Tools(21)

Limited awareness of these resources locally.

Provide online access to training programs and resources for the installer community and potential workforce and organize an outreach and/or training event in order to generate awareness and understanding.

[M8] Provide Solar Educational Resources to Constituents(77)

Limited promotion of solar educational resources

Help promote the availability of online tools and resources for the residential, commercial, and municipal solar markets through existing networks.