Green Ridge Solar Overturns Precedent Prohibiting Solar on Historic Homes
October 20, 2020 at 13:01 PM EDT
· Albany Landmark Commission breaks precedent on solar decision · Rare exception allows solar installation on historic home · Local company Green Ridge Solar installs 7.8 kW of solar panels
(PRUnderground) October 20th, 2020
In a move that breaks longstanding precedent, Portland-based Green Ridge Solar installs solar panels on a historic home in a historic district. The 7.8 kW DC solar installation was unanimously approved by the Albany Landmarks Commission on Oct. 7, and is a significant decision within the solar community.
“It is a big deal!” said Tyler Cox, project manager with Green Ridge Solar. “We are ecstatic that the commission ruled to approve letting us proceed with installing solar on this historic home.”
The resident’s home was built in 1895 and is a registered historic building located in the Monteith National Register Historic District in Albany, OR.
Installing solar panels on historic homes has long been rejected by historic commissions due to aesthetic concerns. Current Albany Landmark Commission guidelines state that any proposed alteration to a landmark should “cause the structure to more closely approximate the historical character or appearance” or “is compatible with the historic characteristics of the area.”
The owner of the home, Ben Thompson, knew this might be a roadblock, but he was determined to take a chance and see if the commission would approve his solar project.
“Since we bought our place, I envisioned restoring and maintaining the rich history of this great area along with being able to integrate green and renewable energy,” said Thompson.
Initial skepticism by the commission was quickly relieved when presented with examples of Green Ridge Solar’s installation work and the equipment used.
Commissioners were impressed with the low-profile and aesthetically pleasing appearance of the Panasonic black-on-black matte solar panels used by Green Ridge Solar, as well as the workmanship of previous solar installations.
The commission unanimously decided the solar installation would not detract from the character or appearance of the historic building and quickly approved the solar project.
“It brings great excitement that not only were we approved,” said Thompson, “But also the chance for others to follow and open the world of historical preservation with state-of-the-art solar power.”
Ann Ketter, an Albany resident who lives just a block away from Thompson and also owns a historic home, was also impressed by Green Ridge Solar’s workmanship. She is glad to see solar energy in her neighborhood.
“I think it looks very nice,” Ketter said. “It is nice to see this happening in the neighborhood.”
Green Ridge Solar hopes this landmark decision will pave the way for future solar installations on historic buildings.
“Solar doesn’t have to be an eye-sore,” Cox said. “When consideration is given, solar can be successfully added to a historic home without taking away from the historic significance and appearance of the home.”
Green Ridge Solar is Oregon’s #1 local solar installer with a small-business focus on customers. Founded in 2016 by two friends from the Portland area, Green Ridge Solar provides top-quality service and education to every customer, from start to finish (and beyond). By using high-quality equipment, employing top-notch solar experts, and being dedicated to the customer experience, Green Ridge Solar has become a leader in the local residential and commercial solar market.
About Green Ridge Solar
Green Ridge Solar is Oregon’s #1 local solar installer with a small-business focus on our customers. We provide top-quality service and education to every customer.
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