City of Saskatoon VS. Saskatoon Power: What’s the Permitting Process?

City of Saskatoon VS. Saskatoon Power: What’s the Permitting Process?

What was the last part all about?

In the previous part, we discovered how reliable SL&P and SaskPower are. We saw how these providers work hard to make sure that an efficient electricity supply is always uninterrupted. Along with this, we covered measures taken by them, a friendly- comparison between both providers. Check out Part 3 for more information.

Why should you read this blog?

This is a blog post covering one of the necessary aspects i.e. the Permitting Process. Many people have queries regarding this topic so here we are, bringing forward this blog post to you. We have created this blog with the aim to answer all the questions revolving around this topic. Jump right in to know in depth!

City of Saskatoon Solar Installation Permitting Process

Overview of the City of Saskatoon Permit Application Procedure

Initiate the Process with an Inquiry: Begin the solar installation permit application process by making an initial inquiry to the City of Saskatoon. Express your interest in installing solar panels on your property.

Consult Zoning Bylaws: Residents or business owners must consult the zoning bylaws applicable to their location. Ensure that the proposed solar panel installation complies with the local regulations outlined in the zoning bylaws.

Submit a Detailed Plan: After confirming compliance with zoning bylaws, submit a comprehensive plan to the City of Saskatoon. The plan should include:

  1. Site layout,
  2. Electrical diagrams, and
  3. System specifications

Evaluation by the City: The city evaluates submitted plans to ensure adherence to safety standards and local building codes. This step is crucial to guarantee the proposed solar installation meets all necessary regulations.

Obtain Approval from Local Utilities: Applicants must seek approval from local utilities to connect their solar power system to the grid. Prepare a separate submission that includes technical details about the system's inverter and its capacity to integrate with the grid.

Guidance from the City: The City of Saskatoon provides guidance documents to support applicants throughout the approval process. These documents offer valuable information to navigate the intricacies of obtaining approval from local utilities.

By following these steps, residents or business owners in Saskatoon can smoothly navigate the solar installation permit application process, ensuring their projects comply with regulations and safety standards.

Timeline and Efficiency of Permit Approval Process

The efficiency of the City of Saskatoon's permit process is notable. Once all required documents are submitted, the city aims to review and respond within a few weeks. The exact timeline can vary based on the complexity of the project and the current volume of applications. The city has invested in training staff to handle solar permit applications swiftly, recognizing the growing interest in renewable energy solutions.

Transparency and Clarity of Permitting Requirements and Documentation

Clarity and transparency are critical components of the City of Saskatoon's permitting process. The city maintains an online portal where applicants can find checklists, guidelines, and forms needed for the application. The city's website offers resources explaining each step of the process, reducing uncertainty for applicants. Regular updates ensure that the information provided is current and accurate.

Saskatoon Power Solar Installation Permitting Process

Overview of Saskatoon Power's Permit Application Procedure

Pre-Approval Form Submission: Start the process by completing Saskatoon Power's pre-approval form. This initial step helps ensure that the proposed solar system size is suitable for the property. The goal is to prevent any negative impact on the grid.

Verification and Eligibility Check: After submitting the pre-approval form, Saskatoon Power conducts a verification process. This involves checking the eligibility of the proposed solar installation for the given property. The focus is on ensuring that the system aligns with utility and safety standards.

Detailed Application Submission: Once pre-approval is granted, applicants proceed to submit a more detailed application. This comprehensive application includes: 

  1. Confirmation of compliance with electrical safety standards.
  2. Proof of hiring a qualified and certified installer.

Emphasis on Certified Professionals: Saskatoon Power emphasizes the significance of using certified professionals for both system design and installation. Certification ensures that the individuals involved possess the necessary expertise to guarantee a safe and efficient solar installation.

Installer Confirmation: As part of the detailed application, applicants must provide confirmation of a qualified installer. Saskatoon Power underscores the importance of this step to maintain high safety and performance standards.

Final Approval and Installation: Once the detailed application is reviewed and approved, customers receive the green light to proceed with the solar installation. The final step involves the certified installer implementing the approved system design.

Monitoring and Grid Impact Assessment: Post-installation, Saskatoon Power continues to monitor the solar system's impact on the grid. This ongoing assessment ensures that the installed system operates efficiently without causing disruptions.

Timeline and Efficiency of Permit Approval Process

Timeliness is a focus for Saskatoon Power, with most permit applications reviewed within a standard timeframe. The company prides itself on providing prompt feedback, which helps customers avoid delays in their project timelines. Saskatoon Power's dedicated team for solar projects works closely with applicants to address any issues quickly.

Transparency and Clarity of Permitting Requirements and Documentation

Saskatoon Power prioritizes making its permitting requirements clear. Its website features downloadable guides that walk potential applicants through the process. The utility provides a checklist of required documentation to ensure applicants submit a complete package, minimizing back-and-forth communication and speeding up the approval process.

Overview of permitting requirements for solar installations

Permit Application through Saskatoon Light and Power or SaskPower: Initiate your solar installation journey by reaching out to Saskatoon Light and Power or SaskPower for the necessary permits.

Building Permit from the City of Saskatoon: Obtain a building permit directly from the City of Saskatoon to ensure compliance with local regulations for solar installations.

Electrical Permit from TSASK: Secure an electrical permit from TSASK to meet the electrical safety standards required for your solar installation project.

Bi-directional Meter Application: Apply a bi-directional meter through SaskPower, the City of Saskatoon, or the City of Swift Current to accurately measure energy flow in both directions.

Submission of Electrical Construction Plans: Submit your detailed electrical construction plans to Electrical Inspections for thorough review and approval.

Network Metering Connection Diagram Approval: Before the installation kickoff, ensure that all connection diagrams are approved by the local utility as part of the Network Metering process.

Mandatory Hiring of Licensed Saskatchewan Electrical Contractor: As a requirement, enlist the services of a licensed Saskatchewan electrical contractor to oversee the design and execution of your solar installation.

By adhering to these comprehensive steps, you can navigate the solar permit process in Saskatoon seamlessly, ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations and standards.

What are the key takeaways?

As we reach the end of this blog, we can say that navigating the solar installation permitting process in Saskatoon involves a series of clear steps tailored to ensure compliance and efficiency. Whether applying through the City of Saskatoon or Saskatoon Power, residents and businesses can expect transparent guidelines and prompt feedback.

Both entities prioritize safety and adherence to regulations, providing resources and support to streamline the journey from initial inquiry to final approval. With a commitment to clarity, timeliness, and collaboration, Saskatoon's permitting process facilitates the seamless integration of solar energy solutions for a sustainable future.

Even though it's the end of this blog, the series still has more things to explore. Read the next part that will be providing you information about the incentives offered by these providers. 

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