Mountain News: House design matters more than location for solar gain 

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CANMORE, Alta.—For homes that want to be self-sustaining in energy, design matters much. That point was driven home in Canmore, at the entrance to Banff National Park, in the assessment of solar energy potential.

A recent report concluded that rooftop solar on houses on the valley’s sunnier eastern side were expected to outperform those on the western side, which falls within the shadows of towering mountains earlier in the day.

But rooftop geometry had 4.3 times more impact on solar potential than the location, reported the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Canmore has set a goal of reducing community greenhouse gas emissions 80 per cent by 2040.

In Colorado, the mountain-rimmed Grand County also looks to add more solar. The Sky-Hi News reported county officials have identified several areas in its valleys, which range from 2,130 to2,740 metres.

That’s about the elevation of several solar farms in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. There’s more sun in the San Luis Valley, although not as much as in the Mojave Desert. Cooler, but sunny, high elevations can produce almost as much electricity, as hotter locations can sometimes get too hot for the collectors.

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