May 17, 2023

Design Matters: Structural Engineering Certification for Solar Panels

By Focus Engineering In News No comments

At FOCUS, we work with solar companies to provide the required engineering in the building permit process for solar panel installations on homes and buildings. Typically delivered as a letter report, our structural engineers provide certification, and—if needed—recommendations, to ensure the structure of the roof/building will support the solar panels being installed.

“The demand for solar panel certifications has grown significantly since I joined FOCUS 6 years ago,” said Matt Hakes, P.E., one of the primary engineers servicing the demand related to solar panel installations. “The solar panel industry is growing at a rapid rate. At FOCUS, we provide hundreds of certification letters for solar panel projects each month.”

The solar companies typically provide measurements, site visit notes, a description of roof framing/trusses in place, photos, and a PDF plan of the proposed solar panel layout. Utilizing this information, our structural engineers review the plan drawings, measurements, and photos then provide a structural evaluation on the capacity of the roof to hold the proposed solar panels. If needed and/or required, FOCUS engineers provide recommendations to reinforce the roof.

Engineering for Solar Panels throughout the Western States

Hakes pointed out most projects take place in Utah, but FOCUS has also completed solar panel engineering certifications in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado. “In addition to technical competence and quality, an important aspect to servicing our solar clients is quick turnaround. We can usually produce a solar report within one to two days,” said Hakes.

In our structural department, FOCUS has a team of 14 engineers. In addition to solar panel engineering, they provide a full range of structural engineering for commercial, residential, and public projects. For more on our structural engineering services and projects, visit