Solar Shading Analysis
Dealing with Solar Easements
Many contractors or developers are already aware that DC has some of the strictest solar easement laws in the country. A solar easement is the right of an owner of a solar energy system to its unobstructed access to the sun. Without these laws, very few people would invest in solar panels. Imagine investing $200,000 in a new solar PV system only to have a skyscraper go up the following year that completely eclipses it. Bummer!
The District of Columbia Municipal Regulations only permits new constructions to shade arrays for up to 5% of the total annual electrical production of any legally permitted solar array above 2 kilowatts.
Solar Shading Analysis Details
Thankfully solar shading analysis details can be predicted with high accuracy using industry shading analysis software. This software models the new structures shading impact on existing arrays using solar irradiance data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Honeydew Energy Advisors’ Solar Shading Service is perfectly tailored for developers. For a flat fee of $500, Honeydew can model the shading of any basic residential or commercial construction on nearby solar arrays. This flat fee includes up to three design iterations and 20 year projections on the financial impact of the prospective construction on the solar array. This is especially valuable if the developer wants to propose financial remuneration to the solar PV system owner.
Example of Solar Shading Analysis Deliverable
Here’s an example of the content from a recent Solar Shading Analysis we performed: