This is Part 3 in a series of our journey to installing a roof top solar system on our home. If you wish to read from the beginning, start with this link.
We are now the proud owners of the largest, residential roof top solar system in Collingwood. For now, anyway.
Since the last post, things happened pretty quickly and smoothly except for one minor glitch.
Some municipalities require engineering studies before issuing building permits for installations and some don’t. Collingwood does so, we had a report completed. The engineer suggested that it may be prudent for us to reinforce two roof rafters before winter to ensure we can carry snow loads. At that point, it occurred to me, that we really should have had an engineering study done BEFORE we signed a solar contract. In our case, it was fine but, what if the engineer had determined that the roof was not suitable?
Last Friday, the building permit was issued and, on Monday of this week, installation began. A crew of three guys from SunVolts Unlimited worked in the 34 degree heat on Tuesday (a good omen I think) laying the tracks for the racking systems, the cabling, meter boxes and basically the foundation for the panels which were installed on Wednesday. Our system actually covers two south facing roofs on our house. The end result is that they are barely obvious at all! We’ve had several people drop by since then and not one has noticed the panels until we pointed them out.
The only unsightly part is the new metering boxes which are close to our entry way and very obvious. We can deal with those through landscaping but it will take awhile to get that established.
Kudos to one of our local newspapers, the Enterprise-Bulletin, who sent a reporter out to get a story about the microFIT program and our experience. We are amazed at the amount of interest people have and we are happy as each new person learns more about the benefits of solar.
Now we wait. That’s the hardest part of this whole journey so far. The days are long, bright and sunny but our panels are not yet connected to the grid. We are waiting for the final safety inspections and for our local utility supplier, COLLUS to be able to connect the new meters. Hopefully this will happen in the next week or so.
We really have to give a shout out to our contractor, SunVolts Unlimited. From beginning to end, they have been on our side, keeping us informed and answering our many, many questions. They follow-up before we even have a chance to ask and, their whole team has been 100% professional and a pleasure to deal with. We’re very glad we chose them for this project. Equally, COLLUS has been the same and communicates with us, answers our questions and has made the process easier than expected.
If you are interested to see the installation as it went along, you can view a photo album of pictures on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/collingwood.bluemountain
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