Do you know that on the hottest of summer days renewable energy provides 13% of the electricity used in Minnesota?
How about that the mandate to utilities increases to 25% by 2025?
While the current renewable energy comes from large-scale projects — think wind farms — products coming to market allow homeowners to integrate renewable energy sources directly into their homes, mainly through solar power.
Solar power has long been available to Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area homeowners through solar panels attached to their roof, but those solar panels are bulky, expensive and lack aesthetics.
Unlike panels, new solar products seamlessly integrate with a roof. At the leading edge are DOW Powerhouse solar shingles and new, thin flat panels from Certainteed.
DOW’s shingles can be installed by a roofing contractor (pictured, upper right) with no special tools or training. Certainteed’s EnerGen system (pictured, lower left) requires a roof contractor with training to ensure the system seamlessly integrates with the asphalt shingles surrounding it.
An electrician is required to connect both systems to an inverter integrated into a home’s wiring to convert the DC power generated by the solar shingles to AC power used in a home.
AMEK Construction is pleased to work with both DOW and Certainteed to bring both products to the Minneapolis St. Paul market. Certainteed’s EnerGen system is available now. DOW continues ramping up production of its solar shingles at the company’s Michigan plant. The shingles are available in the southwest and could be brought from there to the Twin Cities. They are expected to begin being shipped here directly in the coming months.
Other changes to home-generated solar power are incentives for homeowners to install them. Those include incentives from Xcel Energy as well as state and federal tax incentives which lower installation cost and shorten the time for return-on-investment for homeowners.
Also shortening that time are state laws — including in Minnesota — in which homeowners can sell excess power generated back to utilities for use in the nation’s electrical grid. Those credits would come from down times such as when homeowners are on vacation and the home continues to generate electricity.
Lastly, for those uncertain if the climate in Minneapolis and St. Paul is conducive to generating solar power consider that the country with the most installed solar power panels isn’t dominated by desert or near the equator.
Indeed, Germany generates the most solar-based electricity and Minnesota’s climate is comparable to Germany’s. The Minneapolis-St. Paul region averages just shy of seven hours of sunlight a day compared to just under five hours a day in Stuttgart, Germany.
To learn how Amek Construction can help you turn your roof into an electricity generator call 952-888-1200.