FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do solar panels work?
day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. These are specialized cells
that gather photons which then causes electrons to be knocked around and
generate an electrical stream. The solar panels then distribute this electrical stream
to the local power company. Most businesses run on alternating current (AC)
electricity, so the DC electricity is first passed through an inverter to convert it into
usable AC electricity that is accepted on the standard grid. Solar energy is a safe,
simple, unlimited, reliable source of fuel.
Do solar panels produce power when the sun is not shining?
of sun they receive. As a result, solar panels produce slightly less power when the
weather is cloudy and no energy at night. Louth Callan Renewables also designs
solar battery storage solutions to redistribute extra, unused power from daylight
hours and apply it to evening use or get a credit towards winter months when
What happens if there is snow on my solar panels?
Callan Renewables also builds maintenance options into your solar installation to
consistently care for your solar panels annually or after heavy inclement weather
Do solar panels work in a blackout?
in the event of a black out. This is to prevent emergency responders and utility
repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid.
How much does it cost to maintain a solar system?
maintenance during the 25-35 years that they generate power. Louth Callan
Renewables handles all maintenance and operations of your system and advises
that the panels are cleaned at least once every 2 years.
How long does it take to install a solar system?
process of your solar project once construction begins, but the overall project length
for a typical solar array can be anywhere between 4-8 months depending on the
size and type of the system.
What happens if technology advances in 10 years?
wait for some unproven technology down the road, you will have missed the
opportunity to generate your own power now. You will also miss out on the
substantial savings or new revenue that solar can generate NOW. Solar is like
saving for retirement, the sooner you do it the better.
Will my property taxes increase because of solar?
state where there are no tax exemptions, Louth Callan Renewables or its partners
will pick up the annual costs for the life of the solar system.
What is net metering?
The term “net metering” refers to the method of accounting for the photovoltaic (PV)
systems electricity production. Net metering is a policy that allows businesses to
receive the full retail value for the electricity that their solar energy system
produces. This arrangement is not available in all U.S. states, so contact Louth
Callan Renewables to determine if your state provides it. Net metering allows
businesses with PV systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset
their electric bill. As the business's PV system produces electricity, the power is first
used for any electric needs in the building. If the PV system produces more
electricity than the business needs, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid
and used for a later time.
Will solar help me budget my utility expenses better?
Yes, right now you do not have any control over the electricity rate your utility
company charges and trends show rates will continue to rise. Going solar allows you
to know exactly what you are going to pay for the next 20-30 years!
Who is responsible for removing the solar panels at the end of their useful life?
interest in the property. We will remove all equipment at the useful end of the
recycle the solar components.
Do I need to replace my roof before installing a solar system?
Louth Callan Renewables does a thorough evaluation of your roof prior to installing
a solar system. If your roof is at the end of its life cycle (usually a 20-year warranty)
we advise you to replace it prior. Otherwise, the system can be removed at any
point, for the cost of the labor to do so, in the event you must replace your roof
during the life of the system. Due to federal tax incentives, Louth Callan
Renewables may also be able to assume the costs to replace your roof for solar.
What if my roof simply needs a new coat of sealant before solar panels are added?
Louth Callan Renewable experts will assess your roof and make recommendations
for any upgrades, sealants, fixed leaks, etc. for your roof to make it suitable for
solar. We often accept those repairs as our own expense for installing solar.
Will installing solar panels damage my roof?
No, if anything solar panels will protect your roof from damage and may even act as
an additional cooling method. In the unlikely event that your roof is damaged by the
solar installation, Louth Callan Renewables will assume the cost of repair.
Can a carport be placed in other areas besides the parking lot?
Yes, Louth Callan Renewables designs each solar carport uniquely. They can be
placed as sheltering canopies over walkways, bus lines, outdoor patios, even
outdoor bleachers. Carports can be placed as a school entry canopy, as awnings or
cover for archways, or over amphitheater seating. They can also provide the perfect
custom ceiling for the top level of a city garage facility.
What design options are available for carports?
The design depends largely on the use. For example, in regions with challenging
weather conditions, a webbed truss design provides strength and durability. There
are single slope and inverted options depending on cost and efficiency goals. For
large commercial lots, the flat, long spanning design maximizes production, while
preserving optimal parking spaces.
Can signage be placed on the carport poles?
Yes, parking signage is often mounted on the carport support structures. Postings
may include directional passage, night reflectors, clearance warnings, reserved
spaces, fire lanes, or pedestrian crossings. Organizations can also indicate their
logo emblems or slogans on the steel carport posts.
GROUND MOUNT LEASE QUESTIONS
What is a solar farm?
A solar farm is a large collection of connected solar panels that are mounted on
the ground to generate electricity. Solar farms vary in size and use. Some are
installed to power hundreds of local homes. Others power town buildings and
still others are installed to augment the local utility’s generation capabilities in
keeping up with energy demand.
What characteristics might make my land suitable for a solar farm?
The Louth Callan Renewables land experts would conduct a site visit with you to
assess your land for solar suitability. We look for south facing, contiguous parcels
larger than 10 acres, free of wetland encroachment or land use prohibitions. We also
hope for a clear topography with a reasonably flat slope (ideally less than 10%), but
we can work with interested landowners to clear and level the land or adapt the solar
installation to a rolling landscape. Finally, the land must be near utility infrastructure,
with acceptable road entries for construction crew access.
What impact will the solar installation have on my community?
As the cleanest form of energy, solar is a low impact, power source that does not
disturb the neighboring community. The Louth Callan Renewables team works closely
with town officials to educate community members, to conduct responsible due
diligence and to secure permit approvals before installing solar in your community.
Community members are always happy to learn that a solar installation causes no
emissions, no fumes, no smoke, or other toxic by-products. There is little audible and
no environmental or biologic run-off to manage. Further, solar acts as an economic
stimulus with new annual tax payments to the town and support for local jobs. In this
way, the solar farm provides new income that can be used for municipal services,
upgrades to a local baseball field or to adding a new town fire engine.
What kind of equipment will be installed on my land?
Solar arrays or panels will be mounted on racking on the land using steel posts that
are driven into the earth like a fence post. We will install an inverter, interconnection
utility poles, and potentially battery storage. Louth Callan Renewables will install all
equipment, including interconnection wiring, as well as handle all the permitting to
prepare for construction.
What does the solar farm look like on the land?
While we carefully design the solar installation to blend with the landscape, Louth
Callan Renewables can plant visually pleasing trees, bushes, or florals around the
perimeter of the solar installation, which grow in height over time. We include native
grasses and wildflowers that add pollinator benefits to the surrounding crops.
What security concerns come with a solar farm?
Large animals like deer and bears are kept out of the installation by 7-foot fencing that
is required under the National Electric Code. The solar farm can be a protective
benefit to smaller animals, like squirrels, birds, and rabbits that freely pass through the
site. The project affords them significant shade and freedom from human interference,
and the pollinator vegetation that we plant especially useful to them. For safety, all
wires are fortified with conduit protections and foam sealing at entry points into
After the solar farm is installed, how will it affect my other crops and land?
A solar installation allows you to keep your land, stay on your farm and generate
money – monetizing your land without losing other agricultural incentives. Solar is a
great way to make money from less productive land and allow it to lie fallow,
regenerating over time. Sometimes, native wildflower plantings can be incorporated
into the project to act as friendly pollinators.
Who is responsible for removing the solar panels when the term is done?
Louth Callan Renewables go above-and-beyond in protecting landowner interest in
their land. In the lease we sign with you, we proactively agree to provide bond
security that we will fully decommission the site and remove all equipment at the
useful end of the project’s lifecycle (usually 20-25 years) and restore the land to its
former condition. This rejuvenated land can be restored to a farming use or be a
candidate for a new solar lease and installation.
What if I want to sell my land later?
Solar is a transferable asset. Putting a solar array on your property then becomes a
successful financial planning strategy in managing your life assets or keeping your
land in your family estate.
POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT (PPA)
How many bills will I receive after installing solar with a PPA?
You will receive two bills, one from your current utility provider and another one
from Louth Callan Renewables. These two bills combined will lower your electricity
cost between 20-40%.
Do you guarantee the kWh production for a PPA?
our PPA products within a reasonable range. A solar system’s production will
fluctuate year over year by increments of +/- 10-15% depending on the weather, the
standardly produce energy above 98% of the system’s total expected power
Who is responsible for maintenance of the solar system?
We will operate and maintain the solar system for the life of the PPA term.
BATTERY STORAGE QUESTIONS
How safe is the battery storage equipment?
Overall, batteries are a very safe technology - their rate of incidents are much lower
than any fossil fuel technology. We also place the batteries a good distance away
from any structures – typically 200 feet or more. During the permitting phase, we
ensure that the local fire department understands the design and is able respond to
any rare incident.
SOLAR QUESTIONS FOR NON-PROFITS (schools, towns, hospitals)
What are the benefits for a non-profit organization to go solar?
As solar has gained mainstream acceptance in the last ten years, schools, towns,
universities and hospitals are now benefitting in unprecedented ways without making
cuts anywhere, without the need for grants, and without organizing fundraisers. Since
non-profits do not have the ability to monetize current tax incentives, we will help you
start saving money right away COST FREE using a Power Purchase Agreement
(PPA). This type of energy agreement allows non-profits to purchase the electricity
but at large discounts over the long term, while the solar provider collects the
incentives to pay for the installation.