Solar Panel Site Assessments: Electric Factors

In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at some of the basic roof-specific areas that will typically be covered during a site assessment for solar panels on your property. These assessments are meant to determine your site's compatibility and needs for a solar panel installation, and the roof will naturally be an important area for any installation where panels are being placed on it - but this isn't the only key area being inspected here, either.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're proud to offer both commercial and residential solar power services to clients around SLC, Boise and nearby parts of Utah. Today's part two of our series will shift gears and discuss the other areas of your property that will be covered during a solar site assessment, which mostly center around your electrical system and the required solar power load you'll need to meet your home or building's requirements.

Basic Electrical System Inspection

There will be a few parts of your electrical system the team will be inspecting to ensure they're compatible with solar power. These include:

  • The main panel, which should have some dedicated and free space for a circuit breaker that can handle the new inverter. Some homes do not have much space, or their panel may be outdated and unable to handle the load of the new inverter. In either case we will notify you and discuss options.
  • The main service disconnect is also inspected, which is more important on a commercial building than for residential solar power systems.
  • Next up will be your utility meter - if it's old, it may need to be replaced (at your utility's expense). This meter is how the power company calculates and measures your power consumption before sending you a bill. If it's not compatible with solar, though, they won't be able to use this same meter for net metering.
  • And as we mentioned in part one of our series, attic space needs to have some room for an electrical conduit that will run from the new solar panel array and to your main panel.

Solar Power Load

A key part of our assessment is also determining the required solar power load for your property. This involves looking at things like your energy usage habits, the size and type of your property, and any future plans you may have for expansion or increased energy demand. Our team will use this information to design a solar power system that meets your needs and maximizes the benefits of solar energy for your specific situation.

For instance, let's say your property is a small home with minimal energy demands - in this case, you may only need a small solar panel array to meet all of your power needs. On the other hand, if you have a larger commercial building with high energy demands and plans for expansion, we may design a larger system that can handle your current usage plus potential future growth.

Differences for a Ground-Mount System

As you've likely noticed, we've been using a roof-mounted solar panel setup as our example for this blog series - these are the far more common form of installation. However, there are also ground-mount solar systems that are used in some cases. These will require a slightly different assessment process, such as evaluating the land for proper orientation and shading, but many of the same principles still apply.

In addition to these specific areas, our team will also look at other important factors for your solar panel installation during the site assessment. This includes things like any needed permits, local building codes, and potential rebates or incentives for going solar. With our thorough assessment process and experienced team, you can trust that we'll design the perfect solar power system for your property that will provide lasting benefits for years to come.

As you can see, the solar panel site assessment is a crucial step in the process of going solar. It ensures that your property is compatible with solar and that you receive the best possible system for your needs. If you're interested in making the switch to clean, renewable energy, contact us at Intermountain Wind & Solar today to schedule your site assessment! We'll be happy to visit your property, whether you're in SLC, Boise or any nearby area of Utah or Idaho, and start the process of helping you go solar. Together, we can create a brighter and more sustainable future for our communities. Let's get started today!

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