photo: OCR Solar & Roofing
Residential power purchase agreement programs for solar power (sometimes called solar-as-service) offer homeowners the benefits of solar power without having to worry about financing the installation of the panels themselves. This sort of program is hardly new—though they aren't yet available in every state—but what is new is incorporating building-integrated solar panels into one of these programs.
That's what's happening with the newly announced partnership between SunRun and OCR Solar & Roofing:Building Integrated Panels Can Allay Aesthetic Concerns
While I don't think that regular solar panels (while not exactly warm or elegant looking things) aren't unattractive, in some applications or communities a more seamless integration with the existing roof is required. By using building integrated panels (in the case of the SunRun/OCR partnership, tiles from BP Solar) aesthetic concerns over conventional solar panels can be addressed.
While I wouldn't go so far as BP Solar does, in saying that this sort of tile "virtually disappears" into the roof—at least if you've got a view looking down on them—compared to regular solar panels they are less obtrusive. Additionally, they have the advantage of not having to drill holes through the roofing material (possibly voiding the warranty).
More at: SunRun
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