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Aesthetics are Key to a Great Installation May 25, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in California, Solar News, Solar Panel Technology.
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DRI Energy’s Roof Integrated Solar Tile

One of things that has always been of concern to me is the pure lack of aesthetic appeal most solar panels and installations have.  Let’s face it, a common residential installation takes an architecturally integrated roof and places large black panels on the bulk of it.  The result is an energy generation system that hinders the overall beauty of the building and frankly makes the home look like it needs a new roof.

There are however a few options that residential owners can look at to improve the aesthetic appearance of an installation.  Photovoltaic shingles and shingle laminates are now available, although their efficiency has not traditionally been great.  However, DRI Energy has introduced a new solution that may address some of these issues.   

This week DRI Energy introduced their new roof integrated solar S tile.  This new installation is great for those of us in Southern California where every building is covered by a bar tile roof.  The new DRI solar panels integrate into an existing tile roof, and should be great for new construction. 

“The Lumeta RIPV product line is the first in its class to directly address the critical issues of building aesthetics and roof system functionality,” says DRI Energy Chief Operating Officer Stephen Torres. “We’ve literally changed the face of roof integrated PV while fully maintaining the functionality of both the roof system and the solar modules. We think these innovations will change the way designers, architects, builders and consumers think about solar energy.” 

Personally I feel that aesthetics need to be addressed as a business opportunity in this industry as more and more individuals turn to grid-tied options to reduce their economic and environmental energy burden.  Kudos to DRI for taking a steps in that direction. 

TAGS:  DRI, Solar S Tile, Bar Tile, Solar Roof, aesthetic solar installation, commercial solar, new solar products, full service solar installation

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Governor fixed the Glitch May 14, 2007

Posted by solarpundit in California, Government, Solar News, Uncategorized.
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Governor Schwarzenegger changes legislationThis year there has been a significant drop in the number of
California solar rebate applications; and indeed, many small installers have suffered an slowdown in their business this year.  This is primarily due to an un-intended clause in the recent
California rebate policy that required rebate recipients to purchase time of use power contracts.   For a residential customer, this essentially made the cost per solar watt, the same as the peak rate (highest daily rate) from the utility.  The consequence of this is that power would cost more from a person who made the investment in solar, than it would from the utility.

Now this obviously is a contradiction to the Governor’s million solar roofs program which is an ambitious goal to cut California’s dependence on fossil-based energies.  In order to address this problem the Governor is rushing an amended bill through the California Legislature to fix the obvious fly in the ointment.  The LA Time story has the details of this change and the benefits that removing the problem-causing clause will have.

Personally, I commend the Governor for taking steps to address this issue.  I have been reading a number of solar blogs lately, and there seems to be discussion of conspiracy around the legislated loophole.   Regardless, I will do my part to make sure the million roofs number happens. 

Tags:  California, Governor, LA Times, Million Solar Roofs, Legislature, California Rebate