What to weigh before giving solar the green light

This Post and Courier article touches on the practical vs aesthetic sides of solar.  Its focus is on a “downtown Charleston ministry recently received a new set of solar panels on the roof of its shelter.”  The shelter’s conservative overseers really weighed-out the solar option – the first question to be asked is:  How old is your roof?  Depending on budget, it might not make a whole lot of sense to tear down a roof and build a new one to accommodate solar panels; also the historic aspects of the location were discussed, and the “inspirational” & environmental was weighed against the solar panels being an “eye-sore”– affecting the bones of an historic community. In the end, this forward-thinking mission, with the help of a grant, saw “cents” — “the economics were a no-brainer: Not only was the $58,443 installation paid for in full and up front through a Palmetto Clean Energy grant, the solar panels themselves are expected to generate about $5,500 a year in extra income for the nonprofit, or more than $150,000 over the system’s lifespan.” 

A fun mention was also made in the article about a unique solar panel array outfitting a dock of all things, in the same historic district.  This Charleston growth, on the solar front, will only encourage solar-minded residents and families

Dave McNeil, president and CEO of Hannah Solar Government Services LLC is quoted as saying this regarding Charleston solar initiatives:  “We think it’s important individuals should have the right to have solar energy,” he says, “and they shouldn’t be restricted just because a neighbor doesn’t like it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”