Solscient’s installations involve no rooftop penetrations. Our most common rooftop application is on standing seam metal roofs. This type of roofing material is designed to last up to fifty years. We use a S-5! Mini-Clip (pictured below) which affixes to the vertical fin of the standing seam, with no penetration. And for flat rooftops, we use a ballasted racking system (pictured below) which are engineered to withstand 90+ mph winds with the combination of the system’s weight and ballast blocks. Solscient engages an independent structural engineer to evaluate its projects prior to finalization of system design.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is an arrangement where one party agrees to purchase 100% of the electricity generated by a solar array for a fixed, agreed upon price ($/kWh) over the expected life of the system. Typically, a PPA is used in an instance where the consumer of the power (off-taker) is not the owner of the system. The owner constructs, owns, operates and maintains the system, and the off-taker simply agrees to purchase the power during the term of the PPA. This enables the owner to enjoy the tax benefits and financial returns associated with the ownership of the solar array, while the off-taker benefits by purchasing clean power at a fixed rate per kWh, thereby hedging against price volatility and inflation of grid-supplied electricity without the investment of capital.
Many states have Net Metering laws, which generally require a public utility to purchase, often at the retail rate, any excess generation of a solar array beyond what is consumed by the owner of the array. These requirements vary from state-to-state, in terms of criteria, limitations and the rate at which the excess energy is purchased. Net Metering assures that any electricity generated by the system which is not consumed by the off-taker will not go to waste but will be “sold” to the utility and credited to the off-taker’s bill. With Net Metering, there is no need for storage.
Unlike wind energy, solar energy is highly predictable based upon more than 50 years of historical irradiance data for locations throughout the United States. This data has been compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). A readily available program sponsored by NREL, called PVWatts, enables a user to input system size and characteristics, including pitch, azimuth, equipment components and geographic location, to result in an output projection of generation with remarkable accuracy.