Many savvy business owners know the value of writing off expenses and depreciation on investments, and a commercial solar installation is a prime example of this. What better way to invest in the future of your business than with independence from rising energy costs? Solar panels harness the power of the sun into usable energy for your business at a lower cost than your local utility. Whether you lease solar to keep your energy an expense on the balance sheet, or own your solar to write off the depreciation, the short and long term value for your business is tremendous! Why wouldn’t you make the switch when:

  • Solar is a sustainable energy source that shows you have the foresight your competitors may not, attracting customers to your business.
  • Solar as-a-service Operating Leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) can reduce your operating expenses with little to no disruption in the balance sheet.
  • Financing for solar can make owning solar simple, and the ITC can be used towards principal to re-amortize and reduce the monthly payments.

Solar Incentives

Solar for your business makes sense while the incentives like Net-Metering and Tax Credits are available, but they won’t always be! New York State’s Public Service Commission has already put Value of Distributed Energy Resources (solar’s equivalent to Time of Use) in place as the replacement for net-metering for new solar customers in 2020, and the Federal Investment Credit is set to decrease year by year unless action is taken by federal lawmakers. Now is the time to act on the opportunity to help your planet, your business, and your wallet!

Commercial solar has a lot of the same benefits as residential solar, but there are also incentives unique to it. Business owners are eligible for the following incentives in different areas:

New York City:

  • NYSERDA Cash Grant: $0.60 per Watt
    • NY-Sun, a program by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), has several programs in place to make solar more affordable for NYS and NYC businesses. NY-Sun works with NYSERDA approved contractors and developers like us to offset costs associated with going solar. Solar systems on non-residential buildings in the ConEdison utility area are eligible for a cash grant that reduces the installation cost.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial solar projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • NYC Property Tax Abatement (PTA): 20% of the cost to install solar
    • New York City also provides a property tax abatement for all Class 1, 2, and 4 properties (referring to 1-3 family homes, rental buildings, condos, co-ops, and commercial buildings) that use solar energy. This abatement is based on the date solar service starts. Currently, the abatement covers 5% of installation cost, $62,500, or an amount equal to your Annual Property Taxes, whichever number is lowest. The abatement lasts for four years, starting on the July 1st following approval from the DOB. This program has recently been extended through January 1st, 2021.

Westchester County:

  • NYSERDA Cash Grant: $0.60 per Watt
    • NY-Sun, a program by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), has several programs in place to make solar more affordable for NYS and NYC businesses. NY-Sun works with NYSERDA approved contractors and developers like us to offset costs associated with going solar. Solar systems on non-residential buildings in the ConEdison utility area are eligible for a cash grant that reduces the installation cost.
    • The Affordable Solar program provides a second rebate for homeowners with a household income of less than 80% of the area’s average.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial solar projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial Solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.

Nassau and Suffolk Counties:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • PSEG Feed-In Tariff
    • PSEG offers commercial customers who implement solar projects on rooftops or carports ranging from 200kW-999kW a feed-in tariff (payments to energy users for the clean energy they generate) if they apply and are accepted to the program, which runs through February 1st, 2020.

Orange, Rockland and Putnam Counties:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.

New Jersey:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NJ Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS): 10 years of generation
    • Solar systems in the state of NJ are authorized by the public service commission to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS) for the first 10 years the system is generating power. The system produces 1 SREC for every 1,000 kWh generated. These SRECs can then be bought and sold on a market, much like stocks. The NJ utility companies need to buy up these SRECs to avoid fines by the Public Service Commission. They have been traded at an average range of between $210 and $230 per SREC throughout 2018 and 2019.
  • Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
    • New Jersey offers property owners the ability to apply for a certificate from a local assessor to reduce the assessed value of their property down to what it would be without a renewable energy system, thereby not paying property tax on the value of the system.

New York City:

  • NYSERDA Cash Grant: $0.60 per Watt
    • NY-Sun, a program by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), has several programs in place to make solar more affordable for NYS and NYC businesses. NY-Sun works with NYSERDA approved contractors and developers like us to offset costs associated with going solar. Solar systems on non-residential buildings in the ConEdison utility area are eligible for a cash grant that reduces the installation cost.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial solar projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • NYC Property Tax Abatement (PTA): 20% of the cost to install solar
    • New York City also provides a property tax abatement for all Class 1, 2, and 4 properties (referring to 1-3 family homes, rental buildings, condos, co-ops, and commercial buildings) that use solar energy. This abatement is based on the date solar service starts. Currently, the abatement covers 5% of installation cost, $62,500, or an amount equal to your Annual Property Taxes, whichever number is lowest. The abatement lasts for four years, starting on the July 1st following approval from the DOB. This program has recently been extended through January 1st, 2021.

Westchester County:

  • NYSERDA Cash Grant: $0.60 per Watt
    • NY-Sun, a program by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), has several programs in place to make solar more affordable for NYS and NYC businesses. NY-Sun works with NYSERDA approved contractors and developers like us to offset costs associated with going solar. Solar systems on non-residential buildings in the ConEdison utility area are eligible for a cash grant that reduces the installation cost.
    • The Affordable Solar program provides a second rebate for homeowners with a household income of less than 80% of the area’s average.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial Solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.

Nassau and Suffolk Counties:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • PSEG Feed-In Tariff
    • PSEG offers commercial customers who implement solar projects on rooftops or carports ranging from 200kW-999kW a feed-in tarrif (payments to energy users for the clean energy they generate) if they apply and are accepted to the program, which runs through February 1st, 2020.

Orange, Rockland and Putnam Counties:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NYS Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.

New Jersey:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): 30% of the cost to install solar
    • In the remaining months of 2019, the federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% that can be applied to income taxes for new commercial solar installations nationwide. Following 2019, the incentive is set to reduce annually, to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% for commercial projects beginning in 2022. While there is bipartisan support for extension of the popular program, it is entirely possible that 2022 can be the end of the FITC.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation: 85% of the cost to install solar
    • Commercial solar energy equipment is eligible for depreciation over an accelerated cost recovery period of 5 years. Where an ITC is a dollar for dollar credit, depreciating the system moves the initial solar investment to the expenses of the balance sheet, allowing the business to write off that value. When an ITC is claimed, the owner must reduce the project’s depreciable basis by half the value of the 30% ITC, to 85 percent of the system cost. When buying used equipment at the end of the lease, the owner may depreciate 100% of their purchase price.
    • Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Solar Installations that begin in 2019 are eligible to depreciate 100% of the value from Federal taxes in the first year of service.
    • NJ Taxes follow the normal MACRS recovery period for depreciation of assets: 20% in year 1, 32% in year 2, 19.20% in year 3 11.52% in years 4 and 5 and the remaining 5.76% in the final year.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS): 10 years of generation
    • Solar systems in the state of NJ are authorized by the public service commission to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS) for the first 10 years the system is generating power. The system produces 1 SREC for every 1,000 kWh generated. These SRECs can then be bought and sold on a market, much like stocks. The NJ utility companies need to buy up these SRECs to avoid fines by the Public Service Commission. They have been traded at an average range of between $210 and $230 per SREC throughout 2018 and 2019.
  • Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
    • New Jersey offers property owners the ability to apply for a certificate from a local assessor to reduce the assessed value of their property down to what it would be without a renewable energy system, thereby not paying property tax on the value of the system.

Commercial Solar Installations to fit every need!

Solanta works with your local utility company, the Department of Buildings, and the manufacturers to bring Solar as a service to business owners. All of our installations are NYSERDA and NABCEP certified, and come with a standard 10 year workmanship warranty to protect your rooftop and building. We work hard to provide innovative installation solutions so that we can service more customers. We often build tilt racks and solar canopies to install modules from some of the top manufacturers like Panasonic, LG, Canadian Solar, Solaria, and SunPower. Our flexibility in design helps us to ensure that we maximize both your total savings and your solar energy production. Here are some of our installation methods:

Ballasts:

  • Large flat roofs on commercial buildings are commonly targeted for solar, due to the ability to build large solar systems with a simple solution: ballasts.
  • Ballasts are a system of solar racking that are laid on, but not mounted to, the roof’s surface, often starting with a padded layer to protect the roof surface from damage. After the racking is laid out, the modules are mounted directly to them with clamps.
  • The racking is designed in a tilted U shape so that the modules are at a slight angle towards the sun. A space is left between each row to prevent one row of panels from shading the next row. Weights are then placed in between each row to hold the system to the roof.

Tilt Racks:

  • In the past, buildings with small flat roofs were often ignored for hosting solar due to lacking the amount of space needed for ballasts. Mounting flush to the surface isn’t the most efficient when sunlight is best captured at an angle (though some installers do so anyway).
  • Tilt Racks are a unique installation method that make use of galvanized aluminum structures that are built using standard parts like schedule 40 pipe, elbows, and cross braces. Tilt Racks can be built on any surface as long as the area where the flange meets the roof penetration is covered with flashing fabric and sealed with roof tar or silicone depending on the roofing material.
  • Tilt Racks create an array of multiple solar panels, eliminating the empty space that ballasted systems need. Since Tilt Racks can be custom built for each customer based on the orientation of the roof and any obstructions, they allow us to produce more clean energy in less space.

Canopies:

  • Solar Canopies are the most interesting installation method, as they can be used in many different contexts, such as carports, backyard patios, and rooftop decks.
  • Canopies lift solar panels eight or more feet off of the installation surface, providing shade in addition to putting solar in tight spaces.
  • Canopies can be built to comply with rooftop height and access regulations, allowing them to be built over obstructions like rooftop hatches and chimneys, and utilize even more space than Tilt Racks.
  • Canopies can also serve as an addition to backyards when a building’s roof alone can’t fit enough solar panels for its energy needs.
  • Canopies can be setup with built in Electric Vehicle Chargers so that you’re both powering and protecting your environmentally minded customers.

Shingle Mount:

  • You’ve likely seen at least a few small businesses in your area with solar panels mounted directly onto a shingled roof. Shingle roofs are great for solar because often they already have at least one side that’s angled towards the sun.
  • Asphalt Shingles are the most common across the country, and so there are a number of great manufacturers like Ironridge, Unirac, and Pegasus, who create flashing products for us to mount solar flush to the roof by attaching to the roof joists. This makes solar safe to install, and compliant with building codes.
  • For many installers, this is the only method of installation they’re familiar with, and since mounting a flange to a flat surface comes with the potential for ponding water and leaking issues, those installers ignore flat roofs altogether.

Tile Mount:

  • Tile roofs, made from materials like clay and slate, are often known as Cold Roofs due to the breathable layer between the underlayment and the tiles. This places another 6 inches of distance between the roof joists and the surface of the roof.
  • To solve for this, flashings are designed to match tiles of different shapes. A strong, yet lightweight aluminum base is bolted to the roof joists. The base has a bolt built in to mount the flashing from above. This allows us to avoid complications with cutting and grinding tiles to fit around standard flashings.
  • Once the tile shaped flashing is mounted over the base plate, the L foot can be bolted on and standard solar rails can be bolted to each L foot.

Ballasts:

  • Large flat roofs on commercial buildings are commonly targeted for solar, due to the ability to build large solar systems with a simple solution: ballasts.
  • Ballasts are a system of solar racking that are laid on, but not mounted to, the roof’s surface, often starting with a padded layer to protect the roof surface from damage. After the racking is laid out, the modules are mounted directly to them with clamps.
  • The racking is designed in a tilted U shape so that the modules are at a slight angle towards the sun. A space is left between each row to prevent one row of panels from shading the next row. Weights are then placed in between each row to hold the system to the roof.

Tilt Racks:

  • In the past, buildings with small flat roofs were often ignored for hosting solar due to lacking the amount of space needed for ballasts. Mounting flush to the surface isn’t the most efficient when sunlight is best captured at an angle (though some installers do so anyway).
  • Tilt Racks are a unique installation method that make use of galvanized aluminum structures that are built using standard parts like schedule 40 pipe, elbows, and cross braces. Tilt Racks can be built on any surface as long as the area where the flange meets the roof penetration is covered with flashing fabric and sealed with roof tar or silicone depending on the roofing material.
  • Tilt Racks create an array of multiple solar panels, eliminating the empty space that ballasted systems need. Since Tilt Racks can be custom built for each customer based on the orientation of the roof and any obstructions, they allow us to produce more clean energy in less space.

Canopies:

  • Solar Canopies are the most interesting installation method, as they can be used in many different contexts, such as carports, backyard patios, and rooftop decks.
  • Canopies lift solar panels eight or more feet off of the installation surface, providing shade in addition to putting solar in tight spaces.
  • Canopies can be built to comply with rooftop height and access regulations, allowing them to be built over obstructions like rooftop hatches and chimneys, and utilize even more space than Tilt Racks.
  • Canopies can also serve as an addition to backyards when a building’s roof alone can’t fit enough solar panels for its energy needs.
  • Canopies can be setup with built in Electric Vehicle Chargers so that you’re both powering and protecting your environmentally minded customers.

Shingle Mount:

  • You’ve likely seen at least a few small businesses in your area with solar panels mounted directly onto a shingled roof. Shingle roofs are great for solar because often they already have at least one side that’s angled towards the sun.
  • Asphalt Shingles are the most common across the country, and so there are a number of great manufacturers like Ironridge, Unirac, and Pegasus, who create flashing products for us to mount solar flush to the roof by attaching to the roof joists. This makes solar safe to install, and compliant with building codes.
  • For many installers, this is the only method of installation they’re familiar with, and since mounting a flange to a flat surface comes with the potential for ponding water and leaking issues, those installers ignore flat roofs altogether.

Tile Mount:

  • Tile roofs, made from materials like clay and slate, are often known as Cold Roofs due to the breathable layer between the underlayment and the tiles. This places another 6 inches of distance between the roof joists and the surface of the roof.
  • To solve for this, flashings are designed to match tiles of different shapes. A strong, yet lightweight aluminum base is bolted to the roof joists. The base has a bolt built in to mount the flashing from above. This allows us to avoid complications with cutting and grinding tiles to fit around standard flashings.
  • Once the tile shaped flashing is mounted over the base plate, the L foot can be bolted on and standard solar rails can be bolted to each L foot.