After more than a year of demonstrations and rolling out of product information and specifications, DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles are now available in Colorado and will be rolled out in targeted states through next year. It’s unclear if Minnesota is on that list of states.
The solar shingles are installed alongside traditional asphalt shingles by traditional roofing contractors. They protect the home while also generating electricity that can be used by a homeowner or sold back to power companies for use on the electrical grid.
Unlike bulky solar panels that sit atop a roof, these shingles are integrated into the roof line and the only wiring required is from a single shingle to a box that converts the DC power to the AC power used in homes.
The same day that DOW announced its shingles are hitting the market, Certainteed announced a new solar roofing product to join its Energen system, which has been on the market since 2010. Like DOW’s shingles, Certainteed’s flat panels are installed alongside asphalt shingles, creating a seamless look to a roof.
Certainteed’s Apollo system comes in a kit form and contractors require some basic training to install the system. Like DOW’s POWERHOUSE system, Apollo requires a converter box to provide electricity into a home.
It’s unclear when the DOW shingles or Certainteed’s Apollo system will be shipped to suppliers in Minnesota, but when they do AMEK Construction will be ready. AMEK’s CEO Andrew Schmidt has been closely following development of the residential solar power products and is poised to be among the first Minneapolis St. Paul roofing contractors to install the systems.
“We see a future for solar-power generating roofing materials,” Schmidt said. “These are systems that produce ‘green’ energy while lowering homeowner utility bills. We’re proud to be helping pioneer green energy for homeowners in the Twin Cities.”
Schmidt is especially excited about the possibilities for homeowners requiring a new roof due to damage or age. In that case, homeowners will only pay for the added cost of solar shingles over asphalt, making the switch to solar far more affordable with a much short ROI. “That’s where the value, and the opportunity for homeowners, really comes into play,” he said.
While both systems do cost more than traditional roofing, there are incentives for homeowners to install them. Those include incentives from Xcel Energy as well as state and federal tax incentives which lower installation cost and shorten the time for return-on-investment for homeowners.
Also shortening that time to reach a positive ROI are state laws — including in Minnesota — in which homeowners can sell excess power generated back to utilities for use in the nation’s electrical grid. Those credits would come from down times such as when homeowners are on vacation and the home continues to generate electricity.
Lastly, for those uncertain if the climate in Minneapolis and St. Paul is conducive to generating solar power consider that the country with the most installed solar power panels isn’t dominated by desert or near the equator.
Indeed, Germany generates the most solar-based electricity and Minnesota’s climate is comparable to Germany’s. The Minneapolis-St. Paul region averages just shy of seven hours of sunlight a day compared to just under five hours a day in Stuttgart, Germany.
To learn how Amek Construction can help you turn your roof into an electricity generator call 952-888-1200.
Here’s a Consumer Reports video from last year reviewing DOW’s shingles: