Inyo County, CA

Inyo County, CA


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

The City is situated in an excellent area for solar due its above average solar energy resource. 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".

Community Profile

18,546 population
33% renewables by 2020
10,181 square miles

Residential Solar Potential

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


The SSTI team has worked in close coordination with the County 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 county. Your specific roadmap has been customized using the attributes that are relevant at the county-level in your area.

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:
14 of 14 goals achieved
Local Priority

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

Standard permit application package for on-site systems.

County at best practice-- streamlined permitting process consists of building and electrical permit, and is detailed here:

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

Permit application form is not available online.

Permit application form online

County currently at best practice- permit available at

[P3-CA] (AB2188 Mandate) Allow Electronic Submittal of Application Form(1)

Electronic submittal not currently available

Permit application can be submitted by email

County currently at best practice.

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

1 submittal

County currently at best practice.

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

Permit and inspection process information is not online.

Comprehensive process information online

County currently at best practice- comprehensive permit and inspection process information and contact information available at

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

Within 3 business days residential, 5 business days commercial. Expedited review available.

County currently at best practice.

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

Residential permit fee is valuation based, less than $300

County at best practice-- residential permit fees are in compliance with state law.

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

Commercial permit fee is valuation based, less than $1000

County at best practice-- commercial permit fees are in compliance with state law.

[P9] Minimize Inspection Turnaround Time(147)

Within 2 business days

County currently at best practice.

[P10] Offer Convenient Inspection Scheduling(94)

No inspection time window given.

Specific appointment time is offered.

County at best practice.

[P11] Require only 1 Inspection Visit(82)

1 permit inspection

County currently at best practice.

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

Approval from structural engineer not required for qualifying systems.

County at best practice-- small-scale systems are exempt from structural analysis or structural PE stamp requirements.

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

Awareness of recent solar updates in 2013 California Codes

County at best practice.

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

Inyo County implemented an expedited permitting process for residential systems in 2010

County currently at best practice. More information is available here:

showPlanning & Zoning

Current Progress:
4 of 4 goals achieved

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

Solar friendly development rules for on-site systems.

County at best practice.

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

Solar priorities are not included in long-term planning documents.

Renewable energy amendment added to General Plan.

County at best practice-- Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment is in the process of being adopted, while the County's Renewable Energy Ordinance permits rooftop solar on all structures.

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

Residential PV systems are allowed in all County zoning districts.

County at best practice.

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

Renewable Energy Ordinance goverms installation of solar projects in viewshed areas

City currently at best practice-- the Renewable Energy Ordinance contains guidelines for mitigating impacts of renewable energy projects in ecologically sensitive areas. See

showFinancing Options

Current Progress:
2 of 2 goals achieved

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

Not aware of nor publicizes any solar PV loan/finance programs

County has updated its Planning Department website with resources.

County currently at best practice- find information about Matadors Community Credit Union and Umpqua Bank's Green Streets Lending Program at

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

Limited awareness of these resources locally.

Solar finance resources available on County website.

County currently at best practice- find information about solar financing options at

showSolar Market Development

Current Progress:
3 of 3 goals achieved

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

No local aggregate solar procurement program for residential sector.

County exploring an aggregate procurement platform.

County currently at best practice

[M6a] Survey Brownfield Sites for Solar Development Opportunities(12)

Working group established

County currently at best practice-- Inyo County is a member of the Rural Desert Southwest Brownfields Coalition, a U.S. EPA-backed effort to promote brownfield development and renewable energy expansion.

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

Limited online resources are available.

Has many links to outside sources on solar energy relevant to incentives, financing, and permitting

Continue to promote and monitor the latest links relevant to the solar energy industry, as well as online tools and resources for the residential, commercial, and municipal solar markets through existing networks. Links can be found here: