The prodigious growth of solar power in the United States has turned what was once a boutique industry into a multibillion-dollar asset class. Cumulative installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the US has exceeded 20 gigawatts, with thousands of projects scattered across the country.
The operations and maintenance of commercial solar photovoltaic systems requires a year-round effort, but performing the necessary O&M tasks on installations located in geographies prone to harsh wintertime conditions presents unique challenges.
One of the myths of solar is that it doesn’t work in cold climates. In fact, solar panels are more efficient -- produce more energy with the same amount of sunlight -- in colder climates, such as Colorado and New Jersey, two leading states for solar installations. The downside of winter is that there are fewer hours of daylight, so there are fewer hours of solar production. And then there’s the occasional snowstorm...
At first glance, using a ballasted solar racking system seems like an easy choice because there will be no roof penetrations. However, depending on the structure of your roof and other environmental factors such as wind, an attached racking system may be a better choice, and possibly less expensive.