Your installer will need to obtain various permits from your city or county building department before adding a renewable energy system. You will likely need to purchase a building permit, an electrical permit, or both to legally begin installation.
Typically, your contractor or licensed installer will obtain these permits for you, rolling the price of the permits into the overall system price.
Always make sure that permitting costs and responsibilities are addressed with your installer at the start of the process.
Whatever you do, don't short cut the building permit process. Remember, the building permit helps insure that the grid and your home are safe for everyone.
Code requirements vary somewhat from one jurisdiction to the next. (Most PV-related electrical codes are based upon national electrical code standards.)
If you are amongst the first in your community to install a renewable energy system you and your installer can speed the process along by working closely and cooperatively with your local building officials to help educate them about the technology and its characteristics.
Contact your Homeowners' Association, if your community has a homeowners association (HOA), you will want to contact them to ensure you file the proper architecture request forms and obtain approvals. They cannot prevent you from installing a renewable energy system.