dyyuan
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new house block my solar panel...

Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:57 pm

is there anything i can do about it?

the company that's building the new houses did a shade study for their plan, and by 9am in winter time, the new 3 story house would still be blocking the sun completely.

i plan on going to the city meeting next week, but unsure if there are anything i can do other than voice my concerns.

(mountain view, ca)

thanks.

leafedbehind
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:39 am

dyyuan wrote:is there anything i can do about it?

the company that's building the new houses did a shade study for their plan, and by 9am in winter time, the new 3 story house would still be blocking the sun completely.

i plan on going to the city meeting next week, but unsure if there are anything i can do other than voice my concerns.

(mountain view, ca)

thanks.
Oh that sucks! It will probably be much less of a problem in the summer, when the sun is much higher, which is also when you generate the most of your annual solar energy anyway. Do you have an estimate for how much it will eat into your annual production? Maybe you could ask the builder for compensation.

Is this one of the new infill developments near downtown? (I'm also in MV)
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:35 am

What a drag. Sorry you have to deal with this.

PV on the roof, or ground mount? Does MV have a shade bylaw in the code? If so, what options might it give you to object? Whatever the loss amount, you will definately be suffering a loss attributable to the new building. You may need a lawyer.
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CWO4Mann
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:38 am

dyyuan wrote:is there anything i can do about it?

the company that's building the new houses did a shade study for their plan, and by 9am in winter time, the new 3 story house would still be blocking the sun completely.

i plan on going to the city meeting next week, but unsure if there are anything i can do other than voice my concerns.

(mountain view, ca)

thanks.

Do a search on the web for "Air Rights", also, there are court cases which back up the right of a person owning real property to have unrestricted views for purposes of solar power, Solar Insolation (heating) and so forth. I'll have my Legal Assistant do a search on WestLaw, so you can have some documentation. There may end up being a compromise solution, depending upon how political the city meeting politicians are ... if you can demonstrate that your reception of the solar output will be restricted, they may want to know "how much" and "how will it effect your overall Solar Power production". Be calm, determined and polite. Always better to have other solar power folks there to give their opinions and statements. There is controversy over the area of the law, just as there are with Riparian Rights, including flood zones, etc. I'll get back to you here. You might mention the political makeup of the city council, Liberals versus Conservatives and their past positions on Environmental Issue (if any). Remember that politics trumps everything, just like a Royal Flush in Poker.

Here is a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; although talking about "air Rights" with respect to airplane overflights

Here is another case: United States v. Causby 328 U.S. 256 Although this was about a Wack-Job named Causby who didn't like "them damned flying machines over my Property!" The Supremes tossed this case out with an admonition that Cuius est solum eius est usque_ad coelum et ad inferos (You own the property from the earth to the heavens) was no longer valid; ironically it was Douglas, J> -- a far-left Liberal (and presumably on the side of "the Little Guy") -- who wrote the decision which basically stated that the concept was "outmoded".

Good Luck.
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dyyuan
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks for all the responses.

the site is in MV by whisman and evandale, right by the old nokia / new google buildings.
the panels are roof mounted on the 2nd floor.

I've asked my solar rep who installed this for me 4 years ago, and his reply was "no legal recourse".

From what i hear, the meeting next week is called the DRC, which is run by a city staff member, then once it gets approved, it goes to the city council, where they usually rubber stamp whatever the DRC passed.

there are some laws i've seen, but it's mainly for trees / branches that grow to block neighbor's solar panel.

I can look up my pass power generation and figure out how much power i'd lost, but without a real shade study, it will be a bit tough (they only gave us 9am, 12pm, 3pm on winter and summer).

I am basically going to the meeting and "beg" the city staff member who runs the DRC, asking him even if there are no actual law to prevent this, but to act on the interest of MV being "pro green".

oakwcj
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:13 am

dyyuan wrote:is there anything i can do about it?

the company that's building the new houses did a shade study for their plan, and by 9am in winter time, the new 3 story house would still be blocking the sun completely.

i plan on going to the city meeting next week, but unsure if there are anything i can do other than voice my concerns.

(mountain view, ca)

thanks.
You're in luck. The California Legislature passed the Solar Rights Act in 1978. See:

http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/sol ... rights.php
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dyyuan
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:03 pm

I am not sure if those laws would apply to structures.

called the contact number on the website, and they refer me to the law school at University of san diego. i left a message for the guy who wrote all these initiatives and see if he calls back : )

http://www.sandiego.edu/law/centers/epi ... hp?ID=1050" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also did an estimate for possible solar loss at about 1.83kwh during winter solstice.
oakwcj wrote:
dyyuan wrote:is there anything i can do about it?

the company that's building the new houses did a shade study for their plan, and by 9am in winter time, the new 3 story house would still be blocking the sun completely.

i plan on going to the city meeting next week, but unsure if there are anything i can do other than voice my concerns.

(mountain view, ca)

thanks.
You're in luck. The California Legislature passed the Solar Rights Act in 1978. See:

http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/sol ... rights.php

Slow1
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:11 pm

dyyuan wrote: Also did an estimate for possible solar loss at about 1.83kwh during winter solstice.
Is that per day or total annual loss? IF not annual loss, what do you peg the annualized loss at? How is that in terms of your total annual production?
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GetOffYourGas
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:09 pm

dyyuan wrote:there are some laws i've seen, but it's mainly for trees / branches that grow to block neighbor's solar panel.
I'm sorry about your situation, I don't really have anything to add, but this line makes me shake my head. So put another way, there are laws protecting you from something that grows naturally, but not from something which people have built themselves? What a twisted world in which we live.
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dyyuan
Posts: 48
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Re: new house block my solar panel...

Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:56 pm

that's just one day.
without a more detailed shade study, it'll be very difficult to estimate.

that being said, if we assume 1.83kwh lost * 180 winter days and about 4kwh lost * 180 summer days, it'd be about 1050kwh lost a year.
1050 * .22 (pge off peak rate) = $231 a year

i think i am over-estimating the lost during winter, but under-estimate the lost during summer, so maybe this balance out.

Slow1 wrote:
dyyuan wrote: Also did an estimate for possible solar loss at about 1.83kwh during winter solstice.
Is that per day or total annual loss? IF not annual loss, what do you peg the annualized loss at? How is that in terms of your total annual production?

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