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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
trees and solar panels
by langhugh on June 4th, 2011

Rod,

I, too, wonder if this is being taken into full account by the installers and Austin Energy. Even though we have a lot of redundant shade trees planted in our front yards, it seems the Street Trees (planted between street and sidewalk) will also impact a solar array design when the trees are matured.

That said, I was heartened to hear that Lighthouse Solar was doing a proper tree shade analysis for some fellow residents and even talked them out of a solar array purchase for 'eventual' shade concerns. This might be standard due diligence for all of the installers. I don't know.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with how trees have affected your solar array design?

Dusty
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
trees and solar panels
by danx111 on June 4th, 2011

Quote:
Rod,

I, too, wonder if this is being taken into full account by the installers and Austin Energy. Even though we have a lot of redundant shade trees planted in our front yards, it seems the Street Trees (planted between street and sidewalk) will also impact a solar array design when the trees are matured.
That said, I was heartened to hear that Lighthouse Solar was doing a proper tree shade analysis for some fellow residents and even talked them out of a solar array purchase for 'eventual' shade concerns. This might be standard due diligence for all of the installers. I don't know.
Does anyone have any first hand experience with how trees have affected your solar array design?

Dusty


When we had AE Tech "pre-certify" our roof in 2009 we asked about trees and he wasn't concerned. We left off a lower row of panels in anticipation of the growth of street-side trees. We may, in the future, have to trim some off the top - not sure, but shade over street and sidewalk would not be affected.
One consideration that has not been addressed is shade from trees on neighbor's side. Depending on the neighbors involved this mey/may not becpome a problem.

 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
trees and solar panels
by GarrethWilcock on June 4th, 2011

[quoteDoes anyone have any first hand experience with how trees have affected your solar array design?
[/quote]

Our installer's advice was to trim our major shade tree as it grew. In the end we ripped it out as it was going to grow too tall and replaced it with a fruit tree.

I'd rather have roof-top shade from panels producing electricity today than shade from a tree that will take 5 years to grow to generate any meaningful shade for my roof.
 
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commuter
Mueller Community

Posts: 147
Joined on January 23rd, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by commuter on June 17th, 2011

I just wanted to give everyone some feedback on timelines.

I turned in my POA modification request paperwork and PSP rebate request paperwork last Thursday.

I got back an LOI from PSP today (1 week turn around!!)

I got back confirmation from the POA that they received my request and that the ARC will let me know in 60 days.

I called Alliance today and spoke with Matt Hauser who was very helpful. One thing he asked me to share with everyone is that if you get a request for more information from the ARC, reply ASAP to keep your paperwork moving.

I suggested that they group the requests by installer and then coordinate with the installers to see which ones need to get their ok stamps first. They said they will make their best effort to get everyone processed but that they are being deluged by requests right now.

Can our representatives to Alliance / Catellus work with Jennifer Harvey to streamline this process given the growing volume of work that we all anticipate?

 
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danx11
Mueller Community

Posts: 192
Joined on May 24th, 2009
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by danx11 on June 18th, 2011

Quote:
I just wanted to give everyone some feedback on timelines.
I turned in my POA modification request paperwork and PSP rebate request paperwork last Thursday.
I got back an LOI from PSP today (1 week turn around!!)
I got back confirmation from the POA that they received my request and that the ARC will let me know in 60 days.
I called Alliance today and spoke with Matt Hauser who was very helpful. One thing he asked me to share with everyone is that if you get a request for more information from the ARC, reply ASAP to keep your paperwork moving.
I suggested that they group the requests by installer and then coordinate with the installers to see which ones need to get their ok stamps first. They said they will make their best effort to get everyone processed but that they are being deluged by requests right now.
Can our representatives to Alliance / Catellus work with Jennifer Harvey to streamline this process given the growing volume of work that we all anticipate?



When we started the MMW effort we contacted Jennifer Harvey and asked for expedited solar request processing from the Modifications Committee - she committed to work with them to that end. From an email she sent last night:
============================================
- 27 requests received within the last week have been approved as of today. - The letter of receipt has to say 60 days because that is legal time limit the committee has to review.
- 4 are still pending because they are missing required information.
- received 3 this afternoon after 3pm that have not been processed yet but will be processed on Monday. Everyone has been working in hyper-speed and overtime (
- several approval letters processed on a Friday evening)
=========================================
If you think your request has been delayed please contact Jennifer or if you need assistance contact muellermegawatt.org

Dan
323-5411
 
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commuter
Mueller Community

Posts: 147
Joined on January 23rd, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by commuter on June 18th, 2011

Dan is right. About 9.5 hours after I got my acknowledgement I received my approval on Friday evening around 7:30 PM.

Just want to share feedback for those who follow. If I can help feel free to PM us.
 
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ineoeni
Mueller Community

Posts: 103
Joined on May 18th, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by ineoeni on June 18th, 2011

The Mueller Megawatt Project has been working extensively with the various organization involved in this process, the POA / Catellus, Austin Energy, Pecan Street Project and the different Solar Installers.

For better or worse, our experience two years ago taught us quite a bit about the pitfalls in the "going solar" process and we've done everything we can to reduce the risks. I have tons of confidence in the various teams and think things are moving along great. I also think we've done a good job of warning the various entities about spikes in apps - I got my LOI from Austin Energy and my POA approval within 24 hours of submission. Not too bad!

If you are going solar and are having any problems with the process, please email me (amankj@gmail.com) or Dan (danx0601@yahoo.com). We'll do what we can to help!

Aman

 
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Anita S.
Mueller Community

Posts: 55
Joined on December 1st, 2009
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by Anita S. on June 18th, 2011

Regarding the POA paperwork, it's my understanding that the Request for Modification is not required for a typical solar installation that follows the Mueller Design Book. Since it's an expensive and long-lasting modification, many neighbors are submitting the paperwork anyway to get the extra confidence of a written approval for their specific installation, but it's not mandatory. The RFM form itself explains the exemption. Where you have checkboxes for "Type of Submittal", "Solar Panels/Photovoltaic" has an asterisk, explained further down the page. There it states, "If your installation or modification plans for these items are in accordance with the pre-approved guidelines, then you will not need prior approval from the Modifications Committee and you do not need to submit this Request for Modification". The pre-approved guidelines are found on page 11 (section 9) of the Mueller Modification Guidelines and say, "Solar voltaic panels are encouraged, but the system must be well-integrated with the roof design. Solar collectors will be permitted if they are of a flat profile, conform to the slope of the roof and are placed so that the top edge of the collector is parallel to the roof ridge(s)." We've discussed this with other solar-experienced neighbors and our installer (who, unprompted, brought a copy of the relevant sections of the Mueller Design Book rules he has to follow), and it seems pretty clear, but maybe we're missing something.
 
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danx11
Mueller Community

Posts: 192
Joined on May 24th, 2009
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by danx11 on June 19th, 2011

Quote:
Regarding the POA paperwork, it's my understanding that the Request for Modification is not required for a typical solar installation that follows the Mueller Design Book. Since it's an expensive and long-lasting modification, many neighbors are submitting the paperwork anyway to get the extra confidence of a written approval for their specific installation, but it's not mandatory. The RFM form itself explains the exemption. Where you have checkboxes for "Type of Submittal", "Solar Panels/Photovoltaic" has an asterisk, explained further down the page. There it states, "If your installation or modification plans for these items are in accordance with the pre-approved guidelines, then you will not need prior approval from the Modifications Committee and you do not need to submit this Request for Modification". The pre-approved guidelines are found on page 11 (section 9) of the Mueller Modification Guidelines and say, "Solar voltaic panels are encouraged, but the system must be well-integrated with the roof design. Solar collectors will be permitted if they are of a flat profile, conform to the slope of the roof and are placed so that the top edge of the collector is parallel to the roof ridge(s)." We've discussed this with other solar-experienced neighbors and our installer (who, unprompted, brought a copy of the relevant sections of the Mueller Design Book rules he has to follow), and it seems pretty clear, but maybe we're missing something.


Having submitted several modification requests to POA since 2008 it has been my experience that submitting a request is the safest way to go, especially if the modification is expensive or labor intensive. While the guidelines may seem clear there is usually a "but" or some term or sentence that could be interpreted more than one way. The submission process is simple and POA has been very responsive to solar requests.
 
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MelissaLovelace
Mueller Community

Posts: 13
Joined on November 30th, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (Summer 2011)
by MelissaLovelace on June 27th, 2011

We're getting quotes for solar panels and have learned we must have insurance coverage for the HOA to approve our request for panels. I forgot to mention we're in a row house on Zach Scott. Problem is, our provider, Allstate, doesn't offer a rider for them. Anyone have any suggestions? We're willing to consider moving our entire homeowner's policy to another carrier if necessary. Thanks so much!

Melissa & Ron Lovelace
 
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