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I lived in a high-rise condo uptown for a few years, when you looked out over the city, the 6-7 story mid-rise condo building had the A/C units setup in little grids all around the roof. And same thing for our building, at the top of our building there is a rooftop terrace and if you looked over to one side you would see the A/C units lined up in nice groups of 4-6 units. The picture of the Stonewall Station apartment condo's brought this back for me (see picture below)
When I was looking at it, each grouping almost perfectly corresponds to a footprint of a small 6-8 panel solar array.
With commercial solar panels at 21+% efficiency, a condo tower or mid-rise building could cover all the common electrical needs with these arrays + a decent battery backup. No one can argue that it is ugly, because this would be about a 12-24 inches above the already ugly A/C units on the roof. You are still connected to the grid for backup power. (need to run some simulations) but COA (HOA for condos) costs could be tamed or even lowered based on actual design and sun exposure for a particular condo. Drawback:
Initial cap-ex of construction is higher. lets say it is $200k for the full solar array system with 200kWh battery storage (based on https://electrek.co/2016/11/14/tesla-powerpack-2-price/ costs) if the building has 200 units that is $1000 more at sale of the condo unit... Would love your thoughts.
Just went by the new RiverLights development off River Rd south of Wilmington. This is a great new master planned community over 1400 acres and with river access. They are building a great restaurant building right on the river and will have boardwalks and parks along the river. Plus there is some retail with apartments or condos above. Del Webb has started their age restricted community already in the community and I think other model homes are opening soon. Looks like a great new community. Could not find a master plan of it anywhere so if you know of one share it. Here is there webpage for the community http://www.riverlightsliving.com/