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Wind Turbine Development Information

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Note: Our current Wind Energy Ordinance has finished Public Review and expected to be before the Board of Supervisors by late 2012, for questions on the update see POD10007 (under Appendix A).

Welcome to the County of San Diego, Wind Turbine informational page. This is what to expect when you are submitting:



Determine what size and type of wind turbine you are proposing (your scope of work) by reviewing the definitions of wind turbines to find out the difference between a small, medium and large wind turbine system:

  • SMALL: See Section 6156.z of the Zoning Ordinance (search the document for "6156" and scroll to subsection "z" on page 34);
  • MEDIUM: See Section 6950 of the Zoning Ordinance (search the document for "6950");
  • LARGE: See Section 6951 of the Zoning Ordinance (search the document for "6951").
  • COMMERCIAL: Prior to submittal to the Building Division please contact the Zoning Counter at (858) 565-5981 for discretionary permit information and the Chief Electrical Inspector for electrical requirements (858) 565-5920.



Provide two complete sets of plans and supporting documents to include (but not limited to):

  • Cover sheet on the plans including:
    • Sheet index
    • Site address
    • Owner and/or contractor’s name
    • Scope of work description identifying the type of turbine, number of turbines, manufacturer and model/number, and output rating in watts of each turbine.
  • A plot plan is required (see Minimum Plot Plan Information, form PDS 090). The plot plan must show the location of the turbine(s) and all turbine-related electrical equipment. Plot plan is to include dimensions and shall comply with zoning ordinance requirements.
    • The following Noise Abatement Verification needs to be made part of the plot plan and signed:

I, the property owner, understand that the wind turbine system(s) proposed at _____________________ must comply with the requirements of Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4 (Noise Abatement And Control) of the San Diego County Code of Regulatory Ordinances.

If the wind turbine system(s) permitted and installed on my property exceed the noise limit requirements I understand that the County of San Diego will take enforcement action which may require the property owner to alter or remove the wind turbine system(s).


__________________________________           ________________
Name (printed)                                                     Date


  • Provide complete structural plans and specifications for plan review to include: (All engineering calculations, structural plans and soils reports must be prepared, stamped and wet-signed by a California-licensed Civil Engineer or Architect.)
    • Turbine/tower assembly and any attached components
    • Turbine/tower connection to foundation or other supporting construction
    • Foundation plan (if not attached to structure)
    • Calculations demonstrating compliance of turbine/tower assembly, foundation, and all connections with 2010 California Building Code for all applicable load combinations, including gravity, wind and seismic loads
    • Soils reports if 2010 CBC minimum soil bearing values not assumed in foundation design
    • Special Inspection summary for any post-installed concrete anchors, high-strength concrete, high-strength bolts, masonry, or field welding
    • Dimensioned elevation(s)indicating height of wind turbine/tower and any attached components

 Note: If the proposed turbine is roof-mounted or on any part of a structure, then the suitability of that structure to support the turbine and/or its equipment must be determined. A structural roof plan will be required if on a roof. Structures built without permits will have to go through the permitting process before any additional permits will be issued.

  • Provide a COMPLETE electrical single-line diagram showing turbines, junction boxes, fuses, combiner boxes, disconnects, inverters, electric panels, meters, batteries, etc (see from PDS 663).  Include on the diagram:
  • Wiring Methods
  • Materials
  • Equipment grounding
  • Grounding Electrodes
  • Grounding Electrodes conductors
  • Conduits (size and type)
  • Conductors and sizes
  • ALL breaker/fuse locations and sizes
  • Ratings of all equipment in system including electric panels and disconnects
  •  All electrical equipment including the turbine is subject to evaluation and testing by a nationally recognized third-party testing agency such as UL, ETL, CSA, MET, TUV, or others. The certification shall include listing and labeling to the most appropriate recognized standards for the specific piece of equipment. This testing can be performed by the manufacturer or can be performed by a third-party field evaluation.


  • If the system is on a septic system, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) approval will be required prior to permit issuance. Contact the DEH at (858) 565-5173 for further information.
  • If the proposed system is to be mounted on a manufactured home, a separate permit from the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will be required prior to permit issuance. Contact HCD at (951) 782-4420 for further information.




Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0000902.
Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.