Most of the residential solar industry is targeting the expansive roofs of suburban homes with pitch-roofs, meaning the brick and brownstone style homes of many major cities have been left out of the growing trend - despite incentives that could cut installation costs by 75%.
Now, Situ Studio wants to bring solar power to the masses of urbanites with a clever canopy of solar panels. In cities like Brooklyn, homes typically have flat roofs, which are susceptible to shading and are usually rife with obstacles like HVAC and skylights. City code also requires cleared pathways. Situ Studio's canopy elevates 2.5-foot by 5-foot solar panels 10 feet above a roof, and angles them for optimal absorption.
The canopies are sleek, but not discreet. They’re a conspicuous addition to the skyline. T.R. Ludwig, co-founder of Brooklyn SolarWorks, considers that a good thing. “We think as more people go on their own roofs and they see their neighbors going solar with canopies, that’s going to add a viral effect to going solar,” he says. “That’s our dream of course.”