1) The AC will require the homeowner's actual PNM receipts for one full year, which will be copied for the record;
2) The AC does the actual calculating for the system size for the home, based on PNM's formula, below, never to exceed a 5 kilowatt system. "A practical size for an Eldorado home (3 KW of generating capacity) is estimated by BP Solar, a national supplier of solar panels..." Vistas Newsletter, June 2007. So, 5 kilowatt systems would be exceptional. Only the actual power for the home would be allowed.
PNM formula: http://www.pnm.com/customers/pv/determine_system_size.htm?source=solar_home
** With our long sunny days in the Summer, all solar collectors will net meter through PNM to store energy credits for member's use during colder months.
* the roof must have maximum 24" (on center) trusses/joists
* home must be of typical construction
* there is one roof layer
* the mounting structure (roof install) must have been permitted in the past
If all the above criteria are met, there is no engineer needed. He said each home is a case by case basis but, most homes fit the above criteria and there is no load problem with installing a solar system on their roofs. He explained there are two types of racking to install solar panels. One is bolted down at 48" and the other is ballasted. Ballasted is not bolted but uses weight to hold down the solar panels so, it requires more strength from the roof. I asked him about leaks with rooftop solar and he said they have never had a leak with a rooftop solar installation. There is a 50 year sealant that does the trick.
A bolted system spreads about 4 - 5 pounds per square foot (psf) and a ballasted system spreads about 5 - 10 psf.
He also said the standard angle of a solar panel is 15 degrees, which rises about 18" above the roof. At our latitude, the angle height is ideal at 30-35 degrees, which rises approximately 3.5' above the roof. He said this is the ideal angle but, panels will still work very well at the standard angle, or in between.
They also do installations on spanish tile roofs.Sheds ( A personal peeve of mine)
* I also believe our AC should rewrite the guidelines regarding sheds. We allow lot owners to have all the sheds they want? Sheds are provided in our Covenants so the AC can clarify restrictions regarding them. So, why not:
a) Require them to have a solid foundation so animals don't build homes under them and they will look more permanent and neat next to the home;
b) Require they are installed within 20 feet of the home...period.
c) Require only ONE 10 x 12 shed per lot owner...it's plenty. If the lot owner needs more, they should rent storage.
Our AC recently approved a huge 97 foot x 12 foot shed at 1 Conchas Court that is a huge prefab barn. It is 3 sheds made into one. It just happened to be delivered while I was weeding goat heads in the area. I went to see where they put it the other day. They dragged it over a bunch of trees on the side of their house. Why did our AC allow this? I phoned our Compliance Rep as soon as I saw it being delivered and took pictures. He told me it was going to be made to look like the home...we shall see.
Please feel free to email me. I always welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.