Solar Power at Barclay Park

by  D. Friedrichs, Bldr and BP Managing Agent 9-28-2013

Together, the two photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays at the Barclay Clubhouse generate an average of 500 kilowatt hours (kWh) a month, or about ten percent (10%) of current electrical use (Clubhouse only).

The rooftop array is made up of 42 solar shingles, each having 60 – 65 watts power capacity and supplied by based in Rochester, Michigan. The other is a similarly-sized post-mounted array, placed amid Clubhouse landscaping and water features. It has 10 solar panels, each able to generate 255 watts in sunny conditions – and supplied by

Both arrays are grid-tied (to DTE) for Net Metering and earn a small 2 cent per kWh premium from a Solar Currents agreement that allows DTE to credit BP’s renewable energy output (as RECs) toward its own satisfaction of state requirements for utilities to generate a measure of their power from renewables. This Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has been 10% by 2015 and is expected to rise, either by law or new rules administered by Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

The solar panels have 25-year guarantees on production and are expected to produce power for a number of years beyond that time frame (forecast at close to 80% of original potential). The installation expense for the Association totaled between $3 and $4 per watt and will be fully recovered over the years (with actual time for full payback depending on how the pace of increase in retail electricity). Payback is also enhanced for BP co-owners by a 30% of cost federal tax credit (approved thru 2016) distributed based on total cost and pro-rated among the 291 condos. For BP, this federal credit is being calculated after 2013 closes for 2014 annual filings of co-owners.

In the interests of lowering utility costs and fossil fuel dependence, BP board and management are open to considering specific proposals for either building-integrated or free-standing investments, whether in efficiency measures such as L.E.D.’s or such permanent PV shingles as those now on the south-facing section of the Clubhouse roof.

The constraints on consideration of new proposals are that they be code-compliant and value-enhancing for co-owners, without opposition from neighbors. Submission of the standard Alteration / Improvement Permit Form to MeadowManagement would be required.