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‘Include solar plan in design’

Natasha Beckles

‘Include solar plan in design’

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Prospective homebuilders have been urged to plan for the installation of solar energy systems from as early as the design stage of construction.
This recommendation came last Thursday from William Armstrong, managing director of Solar Energy Innovations Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Simmons Electrical Company Ltd.
He suggested that homeowners make sure that “the roof space can cover what their consumption would be”.
“A rule of thumb is, it’s ten watts for every square foot of roof space,” he said.
Armstrong noted that Barbadians also have the option to “ground-mount” all their solar panels.
“You don’t have to go on the roof at all. I think there is one person that has a couple of ground-mounted panels.
“You usually find that people that have a lot of land usually have a lot of trees also and trees of course cause a lot of shading to the panels so that is one of the hindrances of ground-mounting solar panels,” he said.
The managing director was speaking at the launch of a three-phase 120/208 voltage grid-tied solar system at the Crick Hill, St James residence of Nancy Smithers.
“I hope that more Barbadians, especially large consumers, would install certainly grid-tied systems. Even though you’re dependent on the grid, you can generate a lot of savings,” he noted.
Armstrong conceded that “one of the underlying hindrances of course is the initial upfront cost which turns everybody away”.
“This where we hope that organizations like the credit unions can assist those who require the upfront cost to install the system,” he said.
Armstrong said the system was projected to produce over 22 000 kilowatt hours of power annually and would produce more than 50 per cent of Smithers’ annual consumption.