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Solar Panels Just Became a Work of Art in Western New York | Environment

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Solar Panels Just Became a Work of Art in Western New York
Solar Panels Just Became a Work of Art in Western New York

As the desire for solar energy continues to grow both locally and across the nation, we’re seeing rooftop solar units with much greater frequency and in practically every neighborhood. And if you look a little closer, you’ll also see pole-mounted solar panels popping up in back yards and open fields in both rural and urban communities.

But thanks to Buffalo Solar Solutions Inc., solar energy in Western New York just entered a whole new world, one that combines solar panels, architecture and ingenuity to introduce a new option for homeowners that is as artistically eye-opening as it is energy efficient.

What is believed to be Western New York’s first solar pergola was recently constructed for a Lancaster homeowner, and the end result is sure to generate excitement for those seeking a clean energy option that adds to the overall beauty of their home and landscaping.

“We believe our solar pergola is the first one built in Western New York to this scale of detail,” said Kyle Wojewoda, project manager for Buffalo Solar Solutions. “The product is fully customizable, and we work very closely with both the homeowner and the manufacturer. The customer can select everything from the dimensions to the tilt angle, location, pillar style and color. Once we give the information to the manufacturer, they provide us with a product that is prefabricated, pre-cut, pre-drilled and pre-engineered, built with the highest-quality aluminum and made to endure all seasons.

“Another big selling point for homeowners is the quality of life the pergola option provides,” Wojewoda added. “There are options for under the pergola such as fans and lighting. It’s also 100 percent waterproof, so no water will enter the underside of the pergola. You see no wiring, yet some sunlight still comes through. It can be attached to a house, or freestanding and used as a carport or for storage. It’s a great option for new homes and new homeowners who are probably going to add a patio anyway. And, eventually, it will pay for itself.”

While the solar pergola does cost more than the typical roof- or pole-mounted system, there are several financial incentives currently offered that make the solar pergola option comparable in price to an upscale patio addition — with the added bonus of long-term energy efficiency.

In addition to solar incentives such as zero down financing and the availability of low-interest loans, 30 percent of the installation cost of the solar pergola is returned in the form of a federal income tax credit that can be taken over one or multiple years. Twenty-five percent of the installation cost, up to $5,000, comes back as a New York State income tax credit, and New York State will also cover a portion of the installation cost with a NY-SUN cash rebate. The pergola also adds value to your home that is property-tax free for the first 15 years.

“Every solar pergola is custom tailored to your budget and designed to your specifications,” said Jeremy McCool, commercial project developer for Buffalo Solar Solutions. “Dream big. We'll make it happen.”

Buffalo Solar Solutions is located at 1212 Abbott Road, Suite A, Buffalo. Please visit www.buffalosolarsolutions.com, call 800-7775 or email info@buffalosolarsolutions.com to learn more about the pergola option or to schedule a free consultation on making the switch to solar. You can also follow the company on Facebook for frequent updates.

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