SunLink Project Testing Streamlines Permitting

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Although the California Building Code has explicitly accepted the use of fully ballasted rooftop solar installations starting with its 2013 edition, it wasn’t until 2014 that fully ballasted systems finally started to gain ground in California. Understandably, as building codes change, it takes time for the industry to get up to speed. But now solar developers, customers and permitting officials have grown familiar and comfortable with the new codes and are moving full steam ahead.At SunLink, we’re proud to say we’ve installed 100+ fully ballasted systems in California since 2013. They weren’t just installed in a few localities either. The systems have been installed all across the state — from Santa Rosa to Garden Grove and Fresno to Palm Springs.

Installations in such a wide variety of locations means the SunLink permitting support team is prepared for anything a jurisdiction might request. LinkUp recently connected with Jason Luhn, Structural Design Engineer at SunLink, and he says, “While it’s not required for every jurisdiction, SunLink conducts a rigorous analysis on every project that uses SunLink mounting solutions. So, our customers can be sure ballasted systems will behave as anticipated, regardless of seismic or high wind speeds, because of our extensive testing.”

Such an analysis includes a variety of computer simulations and comes with a library of documentation. Some of that paperwork SunLink knows a certain municipalities will request, while for others they suspect could be requested at any given point. Jason says he’s pleased with the systemic, replicable process of documentation his team has developed.

“When you’ve worked with as many jurisdictions as we have, you start to get a feel for what types of information certain cities want to see,” continues Jason. “We’ve found the best approach is to package documents up for our customers based on how they might be requested, needed and used for certain jurisdictions. So, if and when the permitting agency asks, the documents are ready to go. There’s no bottleneck with document requests or with having to wait for another array analysis. Everything is streamlined and ready to go. It makes the permitting process easier and faster, and who doesn’t like that?”

Jason says no project using SunLink products has ever been denied a permit, in part due to the extensive testing and documentation each project receives. It is just one more way SunLink brings partnership benefits to their customers, with a commitment to providing the very best mounting systems in solar.

“It’s all about doing what we can upfront, from permitting to engineering, to ensure these systems get installed and last for their 25-year lifetime with as little maintenance as possible. It’s something we’ll be expecting more of as solar development becomes a more attractive investment for mainstream finance companies. The value of their investment is in the long term, and we are here to ensure it stays high,” Jason concludes.