Perhaps unsurprisingly, a home improvement project of this magnitude requires paperwork. Just as you'll need a permit to make such additions to your home as adding a new room, you'll also need one for installing a solar array. In fact, there are multiple parts to the solar permitting process.
Your first step, before you can even begin the installation process, is to petition your municipality for permission to install a solar array. Among the permits needed before you can begin are an electrical permit and a building permit. Some places have dedicated solar module permits, so be sure to check with your local government. It is also worth checking with your local government to ensure that your area allows the construction of solar arrays.
Your next step is determining whether you want to install panels on your roof, or use a ground-mounted racking system in your yard. Which one you pick will determine what kind of paperwork you may need to fill out.
Next, you'll need to get your house inspected. This is part of the process which makes sure that your home's electrical system can handle the addition of a solar installation. Older homes, homes with bad wiring, or homes which have sustained damage in the past, may not pass the inspection. A failed inspection will mean a lot of home improvement work before you can try it again. You'll also need to get an inspection following the installation of your panels. If you do shoddy work putting them on, the city may not allow you to activate your system until changes are made.
Finally, you may need to get your system inspected by your local utility before they sign off on it. Without your utility's permission, you may not be able to use their hookups or draw power from the grid.