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FAQ

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Can my HOA deny solar on my house?

Both Washington and Oregon have laws restricting HOAs from disallowing rooftop solar installations. There are certain restrictions your HOA can place on the installation, however. Examples include:

  • Requiring the panels and racking to be a certain color
  • Requiring any exposed conduit to be painted
  • Requiring the solar array match the slope of your roof
  • Requiring the top edge of the solar array to be parallel with your roof ridge
  • Prohibit the visibility of any part of a roof mounted array to be visible above the roof line

Your HOA is most likely in making sure your solar array does not take away from the aesthetics of your home and neighborhood. At Premier Solar NW, we are in complete agreement. We not only want your system to function well but we also want it to look great on your home or property. Here are links to HOA statues pertaining to Oregon and Washington.


Where are the biggest solar installations in the US?

The biggest solar installations in operation are:

  • Agua Caliente in Arizona – 287 MW
  • Mesquite Solar 1 in Arizona – 167 MW
  • California Solar Valley Ranch in California – 130 MW
  • AV Solar Ranch One in California – 115 MW
  • Sempra Copper Mountain II in Nevada – 106 MW

What solar panel brands do you carry?

We carry many different brands but what’s more important than the brand is the quality of the panel. Each manufacturer must pass four important tests in order for us to carry their panel.

  • 25 Year Warranty – The panels need to have an 80% power guarantee after 25 years of service. This means that after 25 years, the panel is guaranteed to be producing at least 80% of its rated power output.
  • Longevity – The panel manufacturer needs to have been around a while. We don’t want new entrants trying to figure things out with our customers.
  • Reputation – The panel manufacturer needs to have an excellent reputation for fixing problems. If we end up with a malfunctioning panel on your roof, we don’t want to wait long for a replacement.
  • Financial Stability – The manufacturer needs to be in good financial health. The warranty offered won’t do much good if the company isn’t in business.As long as these four conditions are met, we’re not much concerned with the brand, though we will try to accommodate any brand requests when possible.

How long does it take to install?

A typical residential project takes between 1-3 days. The variance depends on the system size as well as the slope and complexity of the roof.

 


How much does solar cost?

Every rooftop is different, and we can help you determine what it will cost to go solar for your home or business. Most people find that the total up-front cost of solar is less relevant than the financing terms, return-on-investment, and cash flow calculation. Solar leases and other innovative financing models mean that many people can go solar for little or no money down. Some solar customers save more on their electricity payments than they’re paying for their panels, meaning that their investment is cash-flow positive from day one.

Several factors influence the value of solar for your home or business.

  • Your available, unshaded roof space. In the Northwest, roofs facing south receive the most sunlight.
  • The current energy usage in your home or business. Your current energy costs will affect how quickly you recoup your solar investment.
  • The net metering program through your power company. Net energy metering affects the value of the energy your PV system feeds back into the electricity grid.
  • The federal tax credit for solar.
  • State and local incentives.

What is done to prevent roof leaks?

When installing a system, we fasten it to the building’s rafters, joists or trusses with lag screws rated for each specific project. Prior to driving the lag screws into the wood, we drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from cracking. We then fill the pilot holes with roofing sealant. Next we lay a bead of sealant in the shape of an upside ‘U’ around the pilot hole. This prevents any wind-driven moisture from getting to the penetration.

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We then install aluminum flashing over the penetration. The flashing lies under two courses of roofing. Finally, we drive the lag screw into the building’s structural member through the waterproof entry of the flashing piece. In commercial applications we’ll waterproof our penetrations by re-roofing over the penetrations we make.


Do I have to replace my roof first?

Before putting solar on your roof, we’d like to see that your roof has at least 10 years of remaining useful life. So, if you think your roof will need to be replaced fairly soon, it would be best to have it replaced before having a system installed.


How long are the warranties?

All of our solar panels carry a standard 25 year warranty. Our string inverters have a 10 year warranty and our micro-inverters have a 25 year warranty. We have the longest workmanship warranty in the Northwest at 10 years. Our workmanship warranty covers everything from roof leaks to wire connections.


Does solar work when it’s cloudy?

Solar panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt. With our strong net metering policies energy generated by your panels during sunny hours will offset energy that you use at night and other times when your system isn’t operating at full capacity. When we estimate the annual production of your system, we’ll take all factors into account, including our cloudy days. How long are the warranties?


How does solar work?

Solar electric is also known as PV or photovoltaic. Photovoltaic simply means ‘power from light’. PV panels directly produce electricity from sunlight. PV panels have no moving parts and use an inverter to change the direct current (DC) power they produce to usable alternating current (AC) power.