Northern Virginia Roofing Contractors: Harnessing the Power of the Sun
Proof of Virginia’s growing interest in adopting wholesale solar energy is Dominion Virginia Power’s ongoing project to install 2,000 solar panels in an industrial building in Gloucester. “When operational in the first quarter of 2014, the fixed panels on the Gloucester plant’s roof should generate more than 500 kilowatts — half a megawatt — of electricity, enough to power about 125 homes, the utility said.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, this was done as part of Dominion’s Solar Partnership Program that aims to provide solar power, on-leased space, for commercial and public properties.
This is nothing new as far as Virginians are concerned, however, as there are a number of roofing contractors in Northern Virginia who already offer solar roofs to residential clients. Solar roofs are available as either traditional solar panels set up on top of existing roofing systems or as solar shingles installed in the same way as standard roofing materials. Both options perform quite well, although solar shingles are a relatively new technology and are, thus, not as common as solar panels.
Regardless of how they’re made, solar roofs provide an excellent way to shield a home from snow, heat, and rain, and generates a renewable source of energy at the same time. This means that households with solar roofs consume far less fossil fuels which, in turn, helps them avoid making a negative impact on the environment. Individually, solar shingles can produce about 12 watts of power per square foot, which is already enough to power a single LED bulb. Reputable roofing manufacturers like Dow and CertainTeed offer this technology through the various Northern Virginia roofing companies they work with.
While all this sounds good on paper, solar roofs do require a lot more work than ordinary roofing shingles or tiles. Among other things, solar roofs need to be inspected and cleaned more often than, say, asphalt shingles, and typically won’t work as efficiently as they should if they can’t harness sufficient sunlight at all. Obstructions such as tree branches need to be removed, which entails more home renovation work. Fortunately, a contractor who’s well-versed in general construction work—like Northern Virginia Roofing, for instance—can do this job on site.
The full rewards of solar energy may only be reaped once a lot more people adopt the technology. In the meantime, power utilities like Dominion as well as reputable local roofers can give Virginians a taste of the power of the sun.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Dominion Virginia Power to install more than 2,000 solar panels on Canon plant, Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 05, 2013)