If so, it is advisable to coordinate a PV system installation with construction to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts (e.g., financing, structural design, electrical service design) and to ease integration of system elements with the building (e.g., hide conduit runs within unfinished walls).
Solar electric (PV) systems have come down in cost dramatically in the last decade. When BREW formed in 2007, PV systems cost $10,000 per kW on average, now systems cost averages $4,000 per kW. Assuming perfect solar access, one kW of PV in Northwestern NC will produce approximately 4.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, or around 1200kWh annually.
Is there a place on the ground within 250 feet of the buildings that is shade free throughout the year?
If existing buildings are not suited for PV array installation, ground mounted structures can provide ideal installation opportunities.
Is the roof shaded at any time during the year and, if necessary, are you willing to maintain trees at your property to minimize shading impacts for decades to come?
Even minimal shading can greatly reduce the output of a solar-electric system.
If so, it may be necessary to “tilt” collectors in order to avoid reduced wintertime electricity output.
If so, it may be prudent to replace the roofing material in conjunction with the PV system installation.
Is there a south (or nearly south) facing roof and is it generally free of obstructions (e.g., plumbing vents, skylights, dormers)?
Roof-mounted systems are close to the loads they serve, and are out of the way of lawnmowers and weedeaters..
New collectors have been designed to have a more aesthetically pleasing look.