Solar Energy Incentives make it easier.

October 24th, 2005 by Peter Schmelzer

It is getting cheaper to go solar, and now the government is helping!

As of August 1st 2005, all solar heating and solar electric systems installed in MN are 100% exempt from MN state tax.

As of January 1st 2006, most residential solar heating and solar electric systems are eligible for up to a $2,000 federal tax credit.

As of January 1st 2006, most commerical solar heating and solar electric systems are eligible for a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the system’s cost – with no system size limit!

(Thanks to Innovative Power Systems for this information! )

Our challenge as designers is to blend the solar electric systems into the architecture. Traditional forms don’t seem to accept solar panels very well. Contemporary forms can accomodate the panels better, but don’t seem to be well accepted in the marketplace.

Uni-Solar shingles start to blend with asphalt shingles while generating electricity. The trouble from an aesthetic point of view is that the shingles are shiny, can’t be cut in the field, and don’t come with matching accessories (like ridge shingles). This means that the solar shingles don’t blend as well as we would like.

Solar Panels usually look like tack-on additions to buildings, also not the best looking.

If you know of some well-integrated solar panels, let us know! We would love to see them!

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