A distributed generation project may require both land-use and air permits. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review is required if the project requires either one. CEQA guidelines include a number of classes of projects that are categorically exempt from CEQA if they meet specific air quality, noise abatement, and other criteria. See the Policy section for a description of the California Environmental Quality Act.
Land-use permits will fall under three categories.
The result of the land-use permit application will be one of the following.
- Allowed - No permit or CEQA review required
- Conditional Use - CEQA review is required
- Prohibited - Variance and CEQA review required
The land-use approval process may involve a request to rezone land to allow a distributed generation facility installation, or a request for a conditional use permit. The latter is the most common type of land-use approval sought by distributed generation facility developers.