Pat and Rose Garcia are lifelong Valley residents and have been environmental advocates since the 70’s. They bought their home in Amherst almost 30 years ago. They loved the property because it brought them close to nature.
“It’s the trees that make this place so special.” Rose said. “They make us feel like we are living among nature.”
Their old farmhouse is wrapped in a porch and the front of the house is shaded by tall pines and two giant oak trees. They offer year round beauty and help keep the house cool in the summer.
“When I called Northeast Solar for a free site visit, they told me that the roof wasn’t a suitable site for solar because of all the shade and because the main roof wasn’t oriented in the right direction.” Pat said.
Pat and Rose are among the majority of homeowners in Massachusetts. Only one out of four homes have good sites for solar in Western Massachusetts due to trees and roof orientation. Shade free, south facing rooftops are best for maximizing solar production, but Northeast Solar had another option for Pat and Rose.
The Garcia’s backyard was clear of trees and sunny enough to plant a garden that they liked to maintain together.
“We always wanted solar because we want to do what’s right for the environment.” Rose said. “We thought we were out of luck until Zach from Northeast Solar told us about ground mounts.”
Ground mounted solar arrays are a great alternative to rooftop solar. They are placed in ideal orientation to the sun to generate the most clean energy. The frames are securely anchored into the ground and the panels work just as they would were they roof mounted.
Zach gathered some data and brought it back to Justin, the solar designer at Northeast. Two days later, Zach was on the phone with the Garcias giving them the good news.
The Garcias moved forward with their plans to go solar and the ground mounted system was installed away from the house, leaving plenty of space for the Garcias to garden and spend time in their backyard.
Ground mounted systems qualify for all the same tax incentives, cash rebates, and energy credits as roof mounted systems, so the Garcias are saving money, and the environment.