The West End Hotel in Culver City, Calif., built in 1923, recently gained a modern power system when a 20-kW flat-roof photovoltaic system was installed. According to RWE Schott Solar Inc. (RSS), a manufacturer and distributor of the solar equipment, several challenges had to be overcome before the installation could take place. A&M Energy Solutions had the task of installing the system and following local codes regarding historic buildings. The roof system could not be visible from the roof and could not block roof access if a firefighter had to break through the roof. A&M met with city workers on multiple occasions and went over installation plans with the fire department. The system was installed and now produces enough energy to power approximately four to six average homes, and is expected to pay for itself in about five years.

- compiled by J.J. Siegel

Publication date: 05/17/2004