You are here

Feature

Higher ed choices: Ground-mount versus rooftop

Which type of solar installation is right for your college campus?
University Business, May 2017

Deciding where to install a solar array is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make.

Respond yes or no to the following questions as a first step in determining which type of installation makes more sense for your campus.

Rooftop installation

Are there obstructions on the roof—such as skylights, HVAC systems or other equipment—that would make it difficult to install solar panels?

Yes
No

If the roof has a pitch, does it face a direction other than south/southwest/southeast?

Yes
No

Is there significant shading (from trees or other buildings) on the rooftop?

Yes
No

Does the roof have a steep pitch?

Yes
No

Is the roof nearing the end of its life and in need of replacement?

Yes
No

The higher the number of NO responses, the greater the likelihood a rooftop installation will work on campus.

Ground-mount installation

Is the area flat with a limited grade?

Yes
No

Are there access roads leading to the site?

Yes
No

Do local zoning laws permit ground-mount installations?

Yes
No

Is the area sunny with limited shading from trees and other buildings?

Yes
No

Can the panels be installed without impacting wetlands, floodplains, streams, and other bodies of water or natural habitats?

Yes
No

The higher the number of YES responses, the greater the likelihood a ground-mount installation will work on campus.

Sources: Elizabeth Bowen, program coordinator, sustainability office, North Carolina State University; U.S. Department of Energy/On-Site Commercial Solar PV Decision Guide; Solar Professional magazine.

Register now for UBTech 2018

Register now for UBTech 2018, June 4-6 at the Mirage, Las Vegas. At UBTech 2018, you’ll network with a dynamic community of higher ed leaders who are shaping the future of campus technology and explore topics like cyber security, distance learning, campus learning space design, communications, personalized learning and more. Your UBTech registration also includes a free pass to the InfoComm exhibit hall.

Register now>>