The timeline for a commercial solar project in DC and MD can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, but here is a general example of a typical timeline:
- Development and Permitting (3-5 months): The development phase involves a structural analysis of the roof, securing necessary permits and permissions, submitting an interconnection application, conducting feasibility studies, and designing the solar project. This phase can take anywhere from 3 to 5 months, depending on the site and complexity of the project.
- Procurement and Construction (1-2 months): Once permits are accepted, the procurement and construction phase begins. This includes procuring the necessary solar panels, inverters, and other equipment, as well as the mobilization and installation of the solar energy system. Construction can take anywhere from 1 to 2 months, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
- Testing and Commissioning (4-6 months): Once construction is complete, the solar system needs to be tested and commissioned to ensure that it is working properly and generating the expected amount of electricity. Utility companies are notorious for taking a significant amount of time for accepting the interconnection and providing the Authorization to Operate. This phase can take between 4 to 6 months, especially if the utility company requires additional upgrades to transformers, meters located in the building, etc.
- Operation and Maintenance (ongoing): After the solar system is commissioned, it is ready for operation. Ongoing maintenance is recommended to ensure that the system is working properly and generating the expected amount of electricity. This includes regular inspections, cleaning of solar panels, and replacement of worn or damaged equipment. If the system is financed by a third party solar company through a Power Purchase Agreement or Roof Lease, the financier will pay for the maintenance over the 20-25 year agreement.
Overall, the entire process can take anywhere from 8-13 months or more, depending on the size and complexity of the project, as well as any delays or complications that may arise during the process.