Choosing Suitable Roofs

Choosing Suitable Roofs

The ideal roof for our first solar project needs to be financially viable AND deliver community benefit. Financial viability is dependant on:-

  • Good generation potential – best performance from southerly orientation although facing east and west can be viable. As little shading as possible and no threat of future construction that blocks sunlight.
  • Low installation costs – Pitched at 30 degrees on low rise buildings will be cheaper than flat roofs and high rise requiring scaffolding. Metal sheet roofs lower costs whereas slate roofs increase costs.
  • High energy use by the occupier – this reduces the cost of the grid connection and means our income is higher.
  • And legal ease – the roof owner willing to sign the roof lease for 20 or 25 years. Sometimes larger organisations baulk at this.

We have a preference for the panels to be sited on a community building, but the numbers need to stack up. It might come down to a choice between a low cost installation on a commercial building, generating a substantial community fund over the lifetime of the project, and a high cost installation on a community building that creates a small energy discount to one organisation and a much smaller community fund. We may choose both.

Tell Us What You Think

Please tell us your thoughts on this dynamic, and about any possible roofs. Tell us about conversations you may have had with roof owners and introduce us to roof owners of potential roofs for the project. And tell us about any potential roofs.