Do industrial facilities need permits for electrical work? The general perception is they don't, but your AHJ will probably say otherwise, and your facility's insurance contract probably requires notification, as well.
The NEC lists two classes of work for which permits are not required [80.19(C)]:
- Installation or replacement of lamps and electric utilization equipment (the kinds of things that plug into permanent receptacles), plus minor maintenance and repair work.
- The process of manufacturing, testing, servicing, or repairing electrical equipment or apparatus.
Does this mean that, outside of these classes of work, you need a permit for every installation or alteration in a given site? No. The AHJ can issue an annual permit to any person or company that regularly employs at least one person for the installation, alteration, or maintenance of electrical equipment on the premises owned or occupied by the permit applicant [80.19(D)]. The catch here is that the applicant has to keep records of the work done, periodically sending those records to the electrical inspector. But if you're managing such projects properly, you'll already have extensive records (plans, drawings, work orders, schedules, etc.) for such projects.
Although you may reduce total permitting fees with the annual permit, the real savings are in eliminating the repeated duplication of labor involved in multiple individual permits.