Installing Solar Systems in Chelmsford: Zoning and

  1. Chelmsford allows solar installations in all districts

The Town of Chelmsford’s zoning bylaw permits solar photovoltaic systems in all districts without special permits or variances. 

The only exception to this broad policy of inclusion is found at Article XIII-A, Section 195-68, which spells out the particular requirements for large commercial PV installations of 250 kW or more.  The Town allows large commercial systems in all districts but requires applicants to meet a set of standards and satisfy the Planning Board’s site plan review.  Click here to see Chelmsford’s zoning policy for solar photovoltaic systems.  

  1. Solar systems need a building permit and an electrical permit

Before installing a solar system, your installer will need to apply for and receive the appropriate building permit and electrical permit.  The “Solar Permitting and Inspections Checklist” [link] explains each step of the process and the fees involved.  The Chelmsford Building Department issues most permits within 3 business days of receiving a completed application.

  1.   Solar systems must be inspected and approved

Your solar installer will work with the Building Department to schedule the necessary inspections to ensure that the system has been installed properly and will operate safely.  The details of the process are described in the permitting checklist .

  1.  National Grid needs to make the final connection

Before your installer can energize your solar system, National Grid will have to complete the “interconnection” process.  Making this happen is your installer’s responsibility.  Interconnection is not a trivial matter and is best dealt with early in the process.  Well before you purchase panels or put anything on your roof, your installer should ensure that National Grid will accept the location and size of your planned system.

  1. Solar Permitting and Inspections Checklist