Announcing the Earth Month Solar Challenge

We’re excited about the 47th anniversary of Earth Day. So we’re launching a challenge for Brooklyn to help us install at least 60kW of power on rooftops in the borough.

If we meet our first goal, every system that signs up with us this month will receive a $250 bonus. In order to do that we only need about 15 homes to sign up for solar. If we get more than that, and install more than 80kW of power- everyone who signs up this month will receive a $500 bonus. To do that we need only need 20 people to go solar this month. That’s it. Just 20 homes.

For each friend you refer to this challenge that signs up- you and your friend will get an additional $250.

We know it might seem crazy, but this month is crucial to show the neighborhood exactly what we’re all capable of. This is a chance for us to get back to the roots of the environmental movement, help fight climate change, and stick it to the clown in the oval office.

If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to go solar, this is it. Call us at 347-474-7144 or refer a friend here.

Happy Thanksgiving from Brooklyn SolarWorks!

Starting Brooklyn SolarWorks has been one of the most exciting and fulfilling undertakings we could have ever embarked on, but there are a few things specific to 2016 that we’re especially thankful for and would like to shout-out:

Some of you have gotten to see our car up close or even got to hang at the BSW Summer Bash. Regardless, the thing we’re probably most thankful for is continuing to meet with Brooklynites and NYC-goers who are as excited about the solar revolution as we are.

We hope you give us the opportunity to continue serving our community and transforming NYC’s skyline, one canopy at a time.

We’d also like to extend $250 to you and $250 to anyone you refer to Brooklyn SolarWorks. This referral program applies year-round, but we figured we’d mention it in the spirit of giving season. Learn more about it here:

Wishing you a happy thanksgiving, and as always – shine on!

Solar Canopy vs. Tilt Rack: What’s the Difference?

In New York City, having a flat roof poses some obstacles to going solar: Physical obstructions and make installation difficult; NYC’s fire codes and regulations limit the number of panels you can have on your roof and consequently the energy you generate; owners want to continue using their rooftops as social spaces.

There are two solar systems – the solar canopy and the tilt rack – that were designed specifically to circumvent these problems. So what do they look like, and how are they different?

Solar Canopy

  • Elevates solar panels 9 feet above the roof surface
  • Sociable space underneath; can walk underneath
  • Ability to go solar when roof obstructions would have otherwise prevented a solar system
  • 40% larger system size than if panels were to be installed directly on roof surface
  • Cooler building during summer months
  • Withstands winds up to 110 mp

Tilt Rack

  • Elevates solar panels slightly off roof surface
  • Ability to go solar when roof obstructions would have otherwise prevented a solar system
  • 40% larger system size than if panels were to be installed directly on roof surface
  • Cooler building during summer months
  • Withstands winds up to 110 mph

Both designs get around many restrictive NYC fire codes, maximizing your roof’s potential to offset your utility. The main difference is that the solar canopy is elevated significantly higher off the ground than the tilt rack, allowing you the space to roam underneath. The tilt rack thus requires less materials and is therefore usually cheaper to install than a solar canopy.

Which design works for your home?

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and as always – shine on!

Gaelen McKee - "The Innovator" in New York Times

I woke up this morning to some awesome news, Gaelen McKee, President of BSW was featured in the New York Times as an Innovator in NYC solar. We are thrilled to be helping build more solar in NYC and making clean energy happen for our neighbors. 

New York is a special city and it requires special innovations to help solar become pervasive. As we look at the solar landscape here in NYC it looks like flat roofs as far as the eye can see, and as far as we are concerned, each one should have solar panels on them. Cheers to all our other friends HERE COMES SOLAR and our Customer Anne Schaetzel who was featured. #solarcanopynyc is making it happen. Thanks to our cohorts @ Situ Studio for helping to merge solar AND design for these innovations in our special city. 

How to Go Solar If You Rent

Solar power is a clean and sustainable energy source that has the potential to significantly offset people’s utility costs. Solar PV (photovoltaic) project installations continue to increase every year; in fact, the U.S. hit 1 million total solar installations this year in 2016 and is projected to hit 2 million installs in just two more.

Going solar is also getting cheaper. The average price for a completed PV project has dropped by nearly 30% in the past 3 years alone.

If you look at solar the way we do and see it as a practical solution to sustainable energy, then that’s fantastic – but what if you don’t own a property or can’t install a system of your own? If you rent, there is way to reap the energy, economic, and environmental benefits of solar, and it’s called Community Distributed Generation – Community DG for short. Community DG refers to any off-site solar, small wind, or other clean energy project that benefits communities of people through net metering. Since we’re talking about solar, we can refer to Community DG as Community Solar – or Shared Solar –  for short.

Here’s an infographic on how it works:

There are three parties involved in Community Solar.

  1. Utility – companies that distribute electricity, such as Con Ed.
  2. Sponsor – the intermediary; the project developer, a private company, or other entity that manages the solar installation project and determines its contracts and fees.
  3. Member – you and anyone else who wants to go solar without installing an individually owned system.

A sponsor will organize membership and interfaces with utility. Let’s say you contractually agree with your sponsor to use 10% of the energy generated by the solar system for a monthly rate paid to your sponsor. The sponsor relays that information to your utility company, and then your utility company allocates 10% of the energy credits generated by your solar system to you. This is known as net metering.

For more details on how this works, visit the New York State Energy & Research Development Association (NYSERDA) page here: