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New home build - Anti-Solar provision question

Discussion in 'Florida' started by RubberToe, May 5, 2015.

  1. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    All,
    I'm having a home built in the Sarasota area along with my sister. The following provision was in the contract documents:

    Florida Solar Panels.jpg

    According to my sister, none of the 841 homes in the community have solar panels. Can anyone familiar with Florida and/or the builder/community (Neal Homes: Central Park at Lakewood Ranch) clue me in as to what is going on here? I was hoping to get panels installed as part of the initial build. Per the contract, unless we get their (whoever they are) approval, we cannot put panels up, ever.

    Thanks,
    RT
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

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    Looks like you're stuck with getting their approval...Since you're already having the home built, I'm assuming that the contract is already signed? Otherwise, it might be time to look elsewhere...
     
  3. auger

    auger Member

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  4. davewill

    davewill Member

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    That page doesn't say they can't require approval, it just says they can't forbid him from installing. That means that if he applies for permission, they can object to his placement and make alternate suggestions, but they can't restrict him so much that it "impair the effective operation of the solar collectors". That said, if they don't want to be reasonable, the fight could get nasty.
     
  5. auger

    auger Member

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    #5 auger, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    I would agree with you, except the approval is at "the Developer's sole discretion." I'm no attorney so maybe the contract wording is crafted to get around the law.

    Regarding solar power in FL, in general, it's not popular in "the Sunshine State" for various reasons. Cheap power and powerful lobbyists are two of them.

    http://fcir.org/2015/04/03/in-sunshine-state-big-energy-blocks-solar-power/
     
  6. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    strike the clause and contact the General Counsel at SEIA.ORG. They can provide you with the federal law protecting your right to solar.

    Also their are legal ways around this - you are installing radiation collectors for your sun temple and its a church for your new sun religion. Now you are protected by freedom of religion.


    Department:
    ResearchStrategy & External Affairs

    tkimbis [ at ] seia.org
    Phone:
    202-469-3737
    Follow on Twitter:@tomkimbis
    Connect on LinkedIn
    Tom leads the development of strategy to promote solar energy across the U.S. As Vice President of Executive Affairs, he oversees the departments of Executive Affairs and Research. He also provides legal services to SEIA as General Counsel. Tom has been working in renewable energy since 2000, when he began supporting research, analysis, legislative, and planning efforts across all energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
    In 2005, he created the Market Transformation effort within the Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) at DOE to help technologies cross the chasm from R&D to commercialization. Tom served as Director of Market Transformation through 2009, when he began service as Acting Program Manager, managing the entire $170 million solar energy program of the United States. While at DOE, Tom was a founder of the Solar America Initiative, a billion-dollar effort to accelerate solar commercialization. He led the creation of the Solar America Cities program, a DOE partnership with U.S. cities to develop innovative methods for the adoption of solar energy technologies.
    Prior to his work in solar, Tom headed a DOE legislative team, founded a real estate investment firm, and practiced litigation for a multinational law firm. Tom currently serves as Chairman of The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit promoting the increased use of solar energy through education and research.
     
  7. davewill

    davewill Member

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    #7 davewill, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    Before you go flying off the handle, I'd try filing the request to install. Permission may be granted, after all, and if it's not, the refusal would be a necessary first step to any fight about it.
     
  8. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Thats good advice.

    Walk softly, but carry a big stick.
     
  9. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Lots of good advice, Thanks all !

    I have an e-mail into the builder, the developer, and the FlaSEIA(based in Sarasota, same city as the new home!). I'll post back whatever I find out. I was already starting to look forward to a good fight :wink:

    RT
     
  10. Racerx22b

    Racerx22b Member

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    I live in an HOA community and they have to approve everything. It's not so they can say NO, it's more to ensure they work is being done by qualified people (they usually require you to provide the business's license and proof of insurance/workers comp) and that it's aesthetically sound. You can't even put in yard lights or a satellite dish without them approving it first. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I assume you bought into an HOA controlled community for a reason. I like the uniformity, lawn care, and holding my neighbors to some kind of standard for general upkeep. Living in the boondocks with vehicles in disrepair and backyards covered in junk and various storage sheds is not for me.

    Fill out the application and wait for a response. As long as you're not installing them in a vertical fashion in your front yard or have some fly by night company doing the work you should be fine.

    Jason
     
  11. mrElbe

    mrElbe Member

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    I would investigate the installation of solar shingles. Advantage is no extra rood strengthening is needed and they do not look like panels.
     
  12. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Welcome to Sunny Sarasota, but please don't tell anybody else about this place. :biggrin:

    I did some Googling and found that on May 23, 2014 permit #14050185 was granted to "Install a photovoltaic solar electric system" on lot 65 of Central Park at Lakewood Ranch. The contractor was Thomas Harriman, telephone (941) 488-4453.

    Larry
     
  13. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    All,
    Wanted to resurrect this thread since I have received approval for the installation. We have until late this year to get it installed. Move in date will be 9-12-15, so I want to get a feel for what the electric bill will be before deciding on the system size. I know that the install will absolutely *not* be cost effective by any stretch of the imagination, but that is not the rationale for the install. I would request a couple pieces of info if anyone knows this:

    1. The first quote that I have is for a 7.4Kw system consisting of 26 total 285 watt panels, with Enphase micro-inverters. Anyone know what the expected output of a system like this would be over the course of a year? Even a rough guess would be good. Then I can compare the expected power generated versus what is consumed to get an idea whether this size is about right. For an 1,800 sqft house, my initial thought is it might be too big.

    2. The power company is Peace River Co-Op. In looking at their Net Metering agreement, this is what I see for excess power generated:

    preco1.jpg

    prec2.jpg

    Seems simple enough. Power produced offsets power consumed. Credits roll forward. Any credits at end of year receive a check. The check amount is based on the "Net Metering Rate Tariff PURCHASE RATE". I couldn't find what that was on the website anywhere. An older plan prior to April 2010 listed this as 5.10 cents (half of retail), so apparently they charged $0.102 / KWh for power, possibly additional for distribution? I'll find this out on the first bill no doubt. Anyone know what the current rate they pay for credits is?

    Also, from the fees part, it looks like there is a minimum $20 per month no matter what.

    Thanks,
    RT
     
  14. strider

    strider Active Member

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    That seems pretty standard. In most states the provider will only credit you at the "wholesale" rate which is always less than what you pay them (retail). There have been discussions elsewhere but it would help everyone if the utilities split their bills into transmission costs vs generating costs. It would make the whole grid-tied solar net-metering discussion a lot simpler.
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The NREL PVWatts calculator is very good at estimating an average years' production. Some years are better than others, but the total over a year does not have that much variance.

    Try PVWatts Calculator or Google "http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php"

    In most areas, the return on a Solar PV investment can approximately equal a quality, long term municipal bond.

    Good Luck!
     
  16. kvietor

    kvietor Model S S280 VIN 168

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    Ok, here are the numbers for my system. I had a 4.95kW system installed in 2009. twenty-two 225Wh panels. Cost: $42800 before rebates. (very expensive at the time) Average yearly output is 7200kWh. Or just under 20kWh per day. This year I added 7.195kW. twenty-two 327Wh panels. Cost: $28800 before rebates or about half what I paid in 2009. So my 12kW system is now producing about 50kWh per day.

    The installer was Sunbelt Electric in Sarasota. Sunpower is the manufacturer of the panels. The more efficient panels cost more but require less panels/space. So you can save money if you go with less efficient panels if you have enough roof space to accommodate the additional panels.

    Mirasol Fafco Solar is another dealer/installer of Sunpower.

    Any other questions, PM me.

    Klaus
     
  17. ClearwaterBchSteve

    ClearwaterBchSteve P445 / VIN 1794

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    Wow Klaus, this is great to see a 50% cost reduction. I'm glad you bought a Sunpower system - maybe my investment in that company has a chance to at least getting back up to the price I paid just before panel manufacturers dove. 3 of the 4 companies I invested in are out of business. Sunpower is the only one still alive.

    I am very interested in PV for our home. Need to start stepping up the research again.

    Hopefully we'll see you at an event soon. Robin and I will be at Drive Electric Tampa Bay in Oldsmar tomorrow with our Model S and LEAF.
     
  18. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

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    I have a 10.2Kw system installed on a 2400 sq/ft house last year (37x275w Solarworld panels, 2 SMA "string" inverters). Average daily output is around 40Kw. $35k to install including all the city inspection, permit fees etc. My monthly FPL bill has been $19.60 all this year. FPL Net rebate is on a yearly basis so for the first few months of last year (system operational July 2014), the bill varied from $60 to $20pm. The company I used was Sunshine Solar Services. Good company who do a lot of off-grid systems in the Caribbean and Bahamas as well as grid-tied systems in the SE US States. Go solar..you won't regret it!
     
  19. EVger

    EVger Member

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    #20 EVger, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015


    I just came across this thread. Although the post is from four months ago, I thought I would try to shed some light on this issue. My Florida HOA found the following statutory language persuasive when I installed my solar array. The 2010 Florida Statutes (below) encouraged the development and use of renewable resources. Section 163.04 severely limited HOAs, deeds, etc from interfering with the installation of energy devices based on renewable resources. In light of this public policy, there may be case law that applies this statutory language “covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement” to private contracts. This public policy may also be any obstacle to the injunctive relief mentioned in contracts similar to RT's. If there is litigation, the prevailing party is entitled to certain costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. Check with an attorney regarding your individual situation.

    163.04 Energy devices based on renewable resources.—
    (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or other provision of general or special law, the adoption of an ordinance by a governing body, as those terms are defined in this chapter, which prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources is expressly prohibited.
    (2) A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or binding agreement. A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit. Such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south if such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.
    (3) In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
    (4) The legislative intent in enacting these provisions is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of renewable resources in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of driving the costs of owning and operating commercial or residential property beyond the capacity of private owners to maintain. This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.
     

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