This 2017 Made in Minnesota project left us scratching our heads for the best way to get solar for this customer. Almost everything was working against us… there was 1000 square feet of roof sloping to the North, these were metal interlocking shingles which made a watertight seal impossible, there were trees all around, the southern slope was steep and had a fifty foot drop.
If it was not for the persistence of the customer to somehow get solar installed we would have probably left this “undesirable” installation go. No wonder the last installer that they called ignored them after a site visit! But this is where we have the advantage of working with multiple people to pool our installation experience to come up with alternatives.
We figured that we could install on the small portion of the South facing roof and managed to fit 6.76 kW of solar for the customer. This will cover 108% of their usage and almost totally eliminate their bill. The breakeven is estimated to be 7.2 years with an internal rate of return of 13.6%. Pretty hard to beat that kind of guaranteed investment from something that used to be an expense!
There was a lot of grumbling in the crawl spaces over the few days that the installation took place but this installation managed to go up just before the snow flew. The owners also had scheduled a tree trimmer to take down some limbs that were casting shadows on the panels after the installation was complete.
We do have to give a shout out to the customer for being so persistent and willing to work with us on this unusual installation. It will be interesting to see what the production is like since the panels face almost directly South and are so steep that there will never be any snow accumulation.