FAQs About Solar Energy

How long has Alder Energy Systems, LLC been in business?

Alder Energy Systems has been specializing in the planning, design, and installation of solar PV energy systems for businesses, development, and utility since 2008.

What are the financial benefits of solar energy?

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate.

How does solar impact my property values?

Studies have shown that properties with solar energy systems sell for more than properties without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.

Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.

How long will my solar power system last?

In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times, but your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years.

Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 35 years, and it can be costly to remove and reinstall them if you need to replace your roof. If your roof needs maintenance in the near term, you should complete it before you finish your solar installation.

Will the solar array put holes in my roof, or be too heavy?

We mount solar panels on a purpose-built aluminum rail system that is fastened about every four feet by penetrations into roof rafters. On a standing seam metal roof, these attachments are made directly to the standing seams, with no roof penetrations. On asphalt roofs, each mount is sealed with 50-year Tripolymer sealant to prevent any leaks. We guarantee all roof work will be free from leaks. As for the weight of the array, it is less than 5 pounds per square foot, so a typically framed roof is more than adequate to carry the weight.

How many panels do I need?

That varies from business to business based on energy usage, solar exposure, and the size of the building, alongside a few other factors. For a very quick estimate of your particular need please contact Eleanor at 843.410.4417.

How will I know if the solar array is working?

Today nearly all solar systems come with built-in monitoring that varies based on manufacturer. You can monitor your system from your computer or the official app.

Will I see a difference in my lights or in how appliances run with solar?

Solar electricity is identical to grid power, so you will never notice that the house is running on solar power. What you will see, of course, is a small electric bill!

What happens to my solar array when the power goes out?

When the grid power goes down, the grid-tied solar electric system goes down too. This is to prevent any accidental back-feeding of solar electricity to the grid which endanger line-workers. However, a new generation of battery backup technology is available, providing clean backup power in the event of a power outage.

How long will an installation take?

Our typical residential solar power job takes us about 40 hours of installation time on the roof and about 10 hours inside the house. We typically send two technicians, so most jobs are completed in 2-3 days. That said, our installation queue is typically 6-8 Weeks out, sometimes longer, so contact us as soon as you are interested if you have a sense of urgency about your solar project.

Landowner – FAQ

What is a solar farm?

Solar farms are large solar arrays in a field that supply electricity to the power grid. They create inexpensive, renewable energy that benefits local communities by creating jobs and helping the environment by harvesting clean energy from the sun without burning fossil fuels.

How does leasing my land for a solar farm help me maintain the value of the property?

Companies such as Alder Energy Systems lease part of your land to establish a solar farm, which provides efficient, clean energy to local communities or companies.
Hosting a solar farm provides a consistent, passive, and long-term income stream. When the solar farm is ready to be removed from the property, the land will be returned to its natural state in order to be farmed or developed once again.

What is community solar?

Think of community solar as a remote solar farm that offers solar memberships to individual and business “Subscribers,” who are unable to install solar on their own buildings. With community solar, people who don’t qualify for on-site solar—perhaps they live in an apartment, rent their home, or have too much shade—can subscribe to the energy generated by the community solar farm. The subscribers then save money on their energy bills and go solar without having to install a system.

How will leasing my land to establish a solar farm help my community?

There are several ways you’ll be contributing to the prosperity of your local community. Besides helping to provide clean energy that will be less expensive for local businesses and homeowners, you’ll also create jobs for local residents.

How do the lease payments work?

Lease payments are generally made quarterly at an agreed-upon rate. Leases terms are a minimum of 25 years with two five-year optional extensions.

What qualities do you consider when assessing a parcel for solar farm suitability?

Ideal properties will be cleared of trees, have no wetlands, have level ground, and be located nearby a utility’s 3-phase electric poles.

In which states is Alder Energy Systems considering land for solar farm development?

We’re actively looking for land in South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Commercial – FAQ

Will installing a solar power system make my business more profitable?

There’s no question that a solar system will save you money by reducing your operating expenses. Not only will you reduce or eliminate your monthly energy bill, but you also will be eligible for income tax credits and deductions.

Are there other benefits to going solar?

Having a sterling reputation in the community is an invaluable commodity for any business, regardless of the products and services you offer to your clients and customers. Customers and employees will appreciate the fact that you are making a commitment to helping the environment and working toward eliminating harmful carbon emissions.

Are there any restrictions that might keep my business from installing a solar power system?

You must own your property and have space to mount panels on the roof or on the ground. And, since solar panels last for 30 years or more, they should be installed on a roof that is relatively new and in good condition. In addition, it’s best to install panels in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.