Commercial and Utility-Scale Solar System Design

Solar power systems are subject to local construction codes like any electrical installation. Depending on project scale, you may also be required to submit interconnection studies and environmental reviews. By working with a qualified design firm like NY Engineers, you can ensure quick approval with local authorities and eligibility for financial incentives.

Quick Project Approval

Meet local design codes, permitting requirements, environmental regulations and utility interconnection requirements.

Qualify for Financial Incentives

Make sure your solar PV project qualifies for incentive programs like the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program from NYSERDA.

Professional Solar PV Design

We work with all solar PV system configurations, with or without energy storage: rooftop, ground mount, canopy or carport.

Commercial And Utility-Scale Solar PV: Our Design Process

Site Assessment

NY Engineers can inspect your site and analyze the technical and financial feasibility of the solar PV project. In the case of rooftop installations, we conduct a professional structural assessment to determine if any upgrades are required. Our solar experts are familiarized with local permitting and interconnection requirements.

Code, Permitting and Environmental Requirements

Get quick approval with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and the local electric utility company, regardless of project location. NY Engineers can design solar PV systems that meet all local requirements in record time, including:

  • Special Use Permit
  • Coordinated Electric System Interconnection Review (CESIR)
  • New York State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR)
Local Utility Interconnection Requirements

Meet the solar interconnection requirements established by your utility company, and ensure a quick project approval:

NY Engineers can meet the interconnection requirements of any utility company in New York state and other jurisdictions.

Solar PV Equipment Selection

Our solar design engineers are familiarized with a wide selection of PV modules and inverters from leading manufacturers. They can compare the performance of various products under your specific project conditions, and determine:

  • Optimal solar panel wattage and layout
  • Optimal inverter wattage, string circuit distribution and layout
  • Optimal ESS capacity

NY Engineers will design a solar energy system that meets all warranty conditions provided by manufacturers, making sure your investment is well protected.

Solar PV Design and Simulation

We use industry-recognized design software such as PVsyst and HomerPro. Our solar design engineers can simulate the energy output of your solar energy system based on the exact sunlight conditions at your site. They can also determine the ideal energy storage capacity to complement your PV array.

Structural and Racking Design

We design safe and reliable racking systems for solar arrays in any configuration: rooftop, ground mount, canopy, carport, etc. Our design process includes a professional assessment of any existing structures, and the required upgrades will be submitted for approval along with the solar PV system design.

Detailed Construction Documents

The solar installation contractor will be provided with all the information and drawings required for a quick project completion: solar panel layout, inverter string circuit layout, PV equipment schedules, wiring details, electrical protection devices, single-line diagrams, electrical riser diagrams, racking system details, utility interconnection details, etc.

Advantages Of A Solar Design From NY Engineers

Optimal Generation Capacity and Layout

Get a solar PV design that maximizes the productivity of your available land or roof space. Undersized systems represent missed savings and revenue, while oversized systems bring additional costs without a matching increase in financial returns.

Regional Expertise

The NY Engineers team has designed solar power systems in several states: we can work with the building codes and regulations of Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), while claiming local incentives and solar loans. Our experience goes beyond NY codes and utility requirements.

MEP and Energy Experts

NY Engineers offers the full range of energy and engineering services for your building projects, not only solar designs. We also offer construction administration services, and we partner with qualified solar contractors who offer professional installations.

Financing Experts In-House

NY Engineers can obtain low-interest or zero-interest loans for your solar installation, combined with financial incentives from NYSERDA and similar organizations. You can go solar for $0 upfront and pay over time with energy bills savings or project revenue, and the payback period is essentially reduced to zero.

Claim Solar Grants and Rebates

Our solar experts can also help you qualify for grant programs, energy rebates, and other incentives that reduce your project costs directly. The NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program offers up to $1,200 per kilowatt of capacity (as of October 2022), depending on project size and location, and it can be combined with other state and federal incentives.

Quick Design Approval

Our project designs have an 80% first-time approval rate and a 50% faster turnaround. Start your solar installation without delays, and claim incentives before they are decreased or phased out. By working with NY Engineers, you can ensure a quick project approval regardless of local permitting and interconnection requirements.

Ample Solar PV Design Experience

Our solar design engineers can work with projects of any scale. Our designs are approved without delays while qualifying for incentives, regardless of their configuration:

  • Rooftop
  • Ground mount
  • Canopy
  • Carport

We design solar PV systems operating under any billing agreement: on-site savings, remotely metered, community solar power or grid-scale generation.

Technical and Financial Feasibility

Our services go beyond the technical aspects of solar power: We analyze the financial performance of your solar power project, calculating key metrics like the net present value and internal rate of return. We submit designs that are approved not only by local authorities and utility companies, but also by banks and other financial institutions.


We design high-performance solar power systems, combining technical expertise with the latest design and simulation software. We use tools like PVsyst and HomerPro to compare multiple scenarios, finding the optimal solar PV and storage capacity for each project.

NY State Requirements for Commercial and Utility-Scale Solar Projects

Large-scale solar projects are subject to specific environmental regulations and grid interconnection requirements, due to their impact.

  • Although solar panels produce no emissions while operating, a large array can cover extensions of land that could be used for agriculture or other purposes.
  • Large solar arrays also result in significant power generation peaks around noon, and their impact on the local grid must be analyzed before approval - this is especially important for megawatt-scale projects.

NY Engineers can help solar developers meet all local requirements with ease, but getting familiarized with them is helpful nevertheless. The following are the main requirements to keep in mind before starting a commercial or utility-scale solar PV project in New York state:

  • New York City DOB Construction Codes
  • New York State Uniform Codes (project located in other NY state jurisdictions)
  • New York State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), for solar projects covering more than 10 acres, or more than 2.5 acres in agricultural districts The SEQR is not required for rooftop solar projects.
  • Standard Interconnection Requirements
  • Utility-specific requirements: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), Orange & Rockland Utilities, PSEG Long Island, Rochester Gas & Electric
  • Coordinated Electric System Interconnection Review (CESIR), generally required for projects larger than 50 kW.

These are general requirements for large solar projects in New York, but additional requirements may apply depending on the specific jurisdiction and site conditions. NY Engineers can help you meet any combination of code,environmental and utility requirements.

Get The Complete Solar Design Package


Solar Array Layout

Get an overhead view of your property, showing the exact land or rooftop areas that will be covered by solar panels. These are selected based on the available sunlight and other site conditions. The PV array layout also indicates how modules are grouped into string circuits and connected to their respective inverters.

Solar PV Simulation Results

NY Engineers will simulate the annual and monthly electricity output of your solar panel system. This data can then be used to calculate the annual savings achieved by self-generation sol projects, and the annual revenue provided by grid-scale projects.

We can also simulate the performance of energy storage systems (ESS), to determine their optimal capacity and assess their financial viability.

Single-Line Diagrams and Equipment Schedules

Our single-line diagrams are intuitive and highly detailed, making them a very useful tool for both solar installers and maintenance personnel. All solar components are labeled and clearly described in construction drawings, and their locations can be easily identified.

NY Engineers will provide specification sheets and manufacturer data for solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and all other equipment specified in your project.

Structural and Racking Details

Our solar design engineers can work with all the types of penetrating mounts and ballasted mounts used in rooftop solar arrays, and they can specify the best option for your project. They also have ample experience with the structural and racking system designs used for ground mount, canopy and carport installations.

All our designs are stamped by a NY State Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA), as required by local authorities.

Permitting and Interconnection Documents

When local permits and utility interconnection requirements are not managed properly, they can greatly delay a solar power project. NY Engineers can help you avoid these hurdles, making sure that all documents related to permits and utility interconnections are filed properly from the start.

There is no need to worry about the Special Use Permit, State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), Coordinated Electric System Interconnection Review (CESIR) and similar requirements from local authorities and electric utilities. At NY Engineers, we have ample experience with this documentation.

Solar Incentive Applications

NY Engineers will design your solar PV system according to the requirements of local incentive programs. We focus on a quick approval, to secure rebates before funding runs out or the incentive rate is decreased.

Our solar design team can get your project approved under NY state incentive programs, such as those offered by NYSERDA:

  • NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program
  • NY-Sun Incentive Adders, when allowed by project conditions
  • Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program
  • Low-interest financing from the NY Green Bank

Detailed Project Budget

NY Engineers will provide a detailed budget with every solar PV design, based on the latest component prices and skilled labor rates. Having an accurate budget is very helpful when comparing offers from installation contractors, since you can easily rule out proposals that are overpriced or underpriced.

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NY Financial Incentives for Commercial and Utility-Scale Solar Projects


The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) manages the largest solar incentive programs locally, and they include both rebates and low-interest financing.

The NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program is the largest solar incentive program in New York state, where incentives are calculated based on location and scale. The incentive program is divided into three regions:

  • Con Edison
  • Long Island
  • Upstate New York

In each region, the incentive rate for solar projects is determined based on scale, and there are three categories: residential, nonresidential and commercial/industrial. NYSERDA provides real-time information about the availability of funds and incentive rate for each combination of project scale and region.

Solar projects may qualify for higher incentive rates (adders) if they fall under certain categories: Community Solar Adder, Brownfield and Landfill Adder, Multifamily Affordable Housing Adder, and Parking Canopy & Rooftop Canopy Adder.

NYSERDA also offers the Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program for solar+storage projects up to 5 MW of capacity. The incentive is also available for stand-alone energy storage.

The NY Green Bank is a NYSERDA division that finances privately-owned large-scale solar projects in the state. The NY Green Bank provided $438 million in financing during fiscal year 2021-2022, reaching a cumulative investment of over $1.7 billion.