Mother Earth Living and a local DC organization did pieces on solar for condos.
I thought it was a good idea to share some important components to those pieces since someone interested in Solarize Hudson Valley program is working with others in a condo too. Not sharing names here are the thoughts this person needed.
Example 1 – Chicago Family
A family in Chicago in a condominium unit installed solar energy. Since homeowners of a condominium do not own exclusive roof rights to the roof on their our building. So their condo unit installed a 1.7-kW solar system generating more than enough power for their unit. Here’s how they did it.
Approach the condo board and concur to these basic promises to help deter the board’s concerns:
■ Do Not Penetrate the Roof Membrane.
Use the adjustable, ballasted pan system, weighed down by cement blocks, to mount the panels. This allows the panels to be moved for roof maintenance and to adjust their angle by 20 degrees depending on the sun’s seasonal angle.
■All wiring runs down the back of the building and follows existing conduits whenever possible, so it doesn’t change the building exterior’s aesthetics.
■ Only the AC disconnect was mounted on the building exterior.
This is required by their local utility, so check with yours to ensure the disconnect is accessible during emergencies or to perform repairs. They found a place for the inverter and the DC disconnect inside our unit.
2. Washington DC Example
The DC council recently passed legislation to allow for community solar projects on condos. With this approach, individual units can have a portion of the solar system’s production credited to their electricity bills. For example, you could install 50 kW of solar on a roof and divide up the system’s production among 10 different apartments. This approach only works if each apartment/unit pays their own electricity bill, though.
Although the law has been passed, DC is still waiting on the Public Service Commission to issue regulations for how the law will be implemented.
Hoping this helps coordinate Solarize Hudson Valley installations makes me happy.