January 22, 2013
In April 2012, Green Roof Technology installed the first Sun-Root™ solar green roof system—a combined vegetated roof with photovoltaic panels in the U.S. The rooftop draws enough power from the system during the day to power a series of rooftop LED lights throughout the night.
In April 2012 Green Roof Service LLC installed the first Sun-Root™ solar green roof system—a combined vegetated roof with photovoltaic panels—in the U.S. As if solar roofs and vegetative roofs on their own weren't green enough.
The company installed a 1-kW system atop the New York Parks & Rec. office on Randall's Island in New York City. The rooftop draws enough power from the system during the day to power a series of rooftop LED lights throughout the night.
Since its inception five years ago, the solar vegetative roof has been installed in over 100,000 square feet across Europe.
The Sun-Root module is unique in not only its ability to combine two emerging sustainable practices, but the manner in which each technology complements the other, the company says. The system is engineered with photovoltaic mounts, which are ballasted by the green roof, eliminating the need to penetrate the roof membrane to mount the solar array.
The green roof also keeps temperatures cooler around the panels through evapotranspiration, in which stored water in the green roof is released into the air through evaporation. The living roof ballasts the solar panel system, retains stormwater, and improves the lifespan of the roof membrane.
The roof system's wind resistance was tested almost immediately. Recent superstorm Sandy swept through the area only a few months after the system was installed. Happily, it left without damaging the system at all.
Renewable energy tax credits up to 30 percent of the costs associated with the installation of the solar panels during the first year, as well as state, utility, and local government incentives, help bring returns on investment in as little as three years. The system comes with a 25-year warranty.
Each year the solar green roof system produces solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) that will equal approximately 1 kW of energy.