Welcome to the California Energy Commission


California Solar Permitting Guidebook from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research

Solar Energy Permitting Resource:
(Resource ID PT-17)

Solar Energy Facility Permit Streamlining Guide,
Model Solar Energy Facility Permit Streamlining Ordinance, and Renewable Energy Combining Zone



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  • Solar
  • Wind Turbine
  • Geyser
  • Biogas Power Plant
  • Building permits

Planning and Permitting Resources
For Renewable Energy Systems

Background Information

In 2011, the Legislature increased California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 20 percent by 2010 to 33 percent by 2020. The law expands the RPS to include all electricity load-serving entities in the state. In addition, Governor Brown's Clean Energy Jobs Plan calls for an increase of in-state renewable generating capacity by 20,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020. This goal includes 12,000 MW of energy located "on-site" or close to where energy is consumed (20 MW and smaller) and 8,000 MW of large-scale renewable energy capacity.

These new goals will significantly increase renewable energy project development of all sizes throughout the state, most will require involvement of local land use authorities. In addition to the Energy Commission's Local Government Assistance effort, the Energy Commission is providing web-based tools to help ease incorporating renewable energy into the planning process and streamline permitting of renewable energy projects. These tools include:

  1. Planning Assistance - Tools, documents, and practices that can assist local jurisdictions plan for renewable energy development,
  2. Permitting Assistance - Tools, documents, and practices that compliment local agencies' permitting expertise and can assist local jurisdictions to appropriately reduce the time and cost of issuing and obtaining permits for renewable energy development.
  3. Outreach and Information Gathering - A forum informing state agencies of local governments' needs to accelerate renewable energy development.
  4. Feedback - Contact Energy Commission staff at goneill@energy.state.ca.us to add or update any information or notifications contained within this page.

The Energy Commission will use the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) as a forum to discuss issues that affect the planning and permitting of renewable energy projects, and the possible solutions to these issues.

Links to Resource Pages