Building Management Hawaii - April/May 2012 - (Page 21)

Covered Parking & Photovoltaics: A Symbiotic Relationship Turn empty space into an electric asset. By Mark Duda F or property owners who have considered a solar photovoltaic system but whose roofs have extensive obstructions or shading, there is another opportunity that can allow them to take advantage of this costsaving green technology. Utilizing previously unused space above the properties’ parking areas is one of the most effective alternatives to a traditional roof-mounted solar array. Installing a photovoltaic system on top of an existing parking structure can be approached in much the same way as mounting a system on a property’s roof. One significant similarity is how the photovoltaic system provides an extra layer of protection for the structure from the elements, thereby slowing down wear and tear and extending its life. Yet one primary difference is the amount of ground trenching that might be required to connect the system to the electrical facilities instead of running conduit lines down the side of the building. These actions require some additional permitting due to underground utilities and zoning, but with the help of an experienced PV installer these issues can be resolved fairly easily and cost-effectively. If the property doesn’t have an existing covered-parking facility, there is always the possibility of building a structure from the ground up to support the photovoltaic system. Because mounting equipment qualifies as a necessary and integral part of the renewable energy system, it typically qualifies for inclusion in the tax basis of the property. In addition to the monetary benefits of these structures to an organization’s bottom line, they also provide a valued amenity for customers and employees who like to have their vehicles shaded from the sun. Plus, photovoltaic systems have shown to improve a company’s public image. Anyone Cars have it made in the shade under parking lot structures built from the ground up to support a photovoltaic system. driving into that particular parking lot will get a direct message that the company they either work for or plan to patronize has a clear commitment to cost-savings and an environmental mission. Depending on a particular site’s energy needs and the number of meters that can be tied into the photovoltaic system, there are several payment methods. The most straightforward approach is a net-metered system that allows a company to generate power during the day that offsets electricity demand during both day and night. The more meters there are at a site, the larger the load that can be offset under net metering. If a property has a steady demand for electricity and does not drop off considerably at any time (for example in cold storage facilities or hotels), there is the possibility of entering into a Standard Interconnection Agreement with the utility. This agreement allows a company to get above the 100 kW net metering limit because there is little chance the system will export any power. Finally, in the event that the covered-parking system generates power in excess of the facility’s demand with ample capacity left over, there is the possibility of generating revenue by selling power to the utility through a Feed-in Tariff arrangement. The price the utility pays for this power is fixed for 20 years, but it can also be sound financial investment that helps Hawaii achieve its renewable energy goals. When it comes to covered-parking structures and photovoltaics, what was once an empty space or a nonperforming asset can now be turned into a prime asset. It’s an opportunity to offset volatile variable energy costs, generate revenue for the property owner and help Hawaii move ahead towards a sustainable future. Mark Duda is Government Affairs Committee Chair for the PV Coalition and a Principal with RevoluSun, Hawaii’s largest locally owned solar design and installation firm. BMH April - May 2012 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - April/May 2012

Contents Building Management Hawaii, April/May 2012
DEPARTMENTS: Concrete Restoration
If You’re Not Testing, You’re Guessing. Diagnose your concrete woes to save time and money.
Corroding Rebar and Spalling Concrete. Why zinc can be a spalling solution.
Top Five Fixes for Spalling. Preventing the corrosion of your building.
Trees – Our Green Assets. How not to plant the wrong tree in the wrong place.
Watts Up? Watts Down!. What you don’t know about parking lots could cost you big bucks.
Covered Parking & Photovoltaics: A Symbiotic Relationship. Covered Parking & Photovoltaics: A Symbiotic Relationship
Fire Prevention & Response
Top 10 Fire Fighters. Preventing fires is a job for everyone, but condo boards and property managers have a particular responsibility.
Keep a Clean Chute. Maintainance of trash chutes prevents serious high-rise fires
Stop, Drop & Go Wireless. New technology aids in fast response and saving lives.
Insurance: Do Condo Owners ‘Get’ Your Master Policy?
EDITORIAL: Editor’s Note
Ask An Expert: Epoxy vs. Regular Rebar
Association Updates
Movers & Shakers
Industry News
Resource Guide: Concrete Restoration & Asphalt

Building Management Hawaii - April/May 2012