Condo Owner

Spring 2017

Condo Owner publishes information vital to the business and pleasure of resort condominium ownership. Topics covered relate to real estate market trends, community association matters, rental management issues, tax and insurance updates and more.

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condo owner • S P R I N G 2 0 1 7 18 special feature There are definitely both benefits and challeng- es for condo owners in the use of solar energy, particularly regarding its use for condo asso- ciations, according to Doug Herrick, Owner and Co-Founder of Pensacola-based SunFarm Energy, and Brian O'Sullivan, Director of Sales & Marketing for the company. CHALLENGES The great thing is that for nearly every challenge for solar cell technology, there is an offsetting benefit or a way to work around it. Upfront expense Initial costs, according to O'Sullivan, currently run around $3.00 a watt. "With a 100 kilowatt system, that would mean an initial cost of $300,000. That would include design, engineer- ing, materials, installation, balancing the system, and permitting." The next step is a cost that O'Sullivan's company doesn't control: intercon- nection with the local power provider. "For that, we fill out all the contract paperwork, we get a valid signature from the owner of the facility, and then we hand-deliver that to the power company and try to expedite that as best we can on behalf of our client," said O'Sullivan. Certain Structural & Dispositional Elements Other challenges, particularly for existing buildings that weren't built with solar energy in mind and new ones with certain structural restrictions, are less-than-maximum efficiency and, therefore, less cost effectiveness. O'Sullivan said that a roof oriented to the north, northeast, or northwest is not at all desirable. Due east or west may work alright and south is the best, but many condo buildings, particularly on Florida's elongated north/south coasts tend to face toward the east and west hori- zons. On the other hand, many of the Panhandle Stainless steel hardware is used to mount solar systems on condominiums with enough roof area to adequately power the building's common areas. Solar canopies create prime parking that isn't subjected to the direct rays of the sun while also providing solar energy for common areas.

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