Featured Articles

TSMC: Volume production of 16nm FinFET in 2H 2015

TSMC: Volume production of 16nm FinFET in 2H 2015

TSMC has announced that it will begin volume production of 16nm FinFET products in the second half of 2015, in late…

More...
AMD misses earnings targets, announces layoffs

AMD misses earnings targets, announces layoffs

AMD has missed earnings targets and is planning a substantial job cuts. The company reported quarterly earnings yesterday and the street is…

More...
Did Google botch the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9?

Did Google botch the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9?

As expected, Google has finally released the eagerly awaited Nexus 6 phablet and its first 64-bit device, the Nexus 9 tablet.

More...
Gainward GTX 970 Phantom previewed

Gainward GTX 970 Phantom previewed

Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX…

More...
EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 reviewed

EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 reviewed

Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 07:49

Green lawsuit over shade trees and solar panels

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Which is more important: shade or solar power?


In an environmental feud that probably would only occur in California, two neighbors in Sunnyvale, a San Francisco suburb, have been feuding over eight prized redwood trees and the shade they provide, while their next door neighbor says the trees impede use of his highly efficient rooftop solar panels. 

Thirty years after California passed the Solar Shade Act, a law enacted to protect homeowners' investment in rooftop solar panels, this is the first claim to make it to litigation. Under this law trees that impede solar access to installed solar panels can be considered a ‘nuisance,’ and the trees’ owners can be fined up to $1,000 a day.

Both parties to the lawsuit claim to be environmentalists. The tree owners drive a Prius hybrid car and say they support solar power, but love their trees and the shade and privacy they provide, and want common sense to prevail. Their neighbor drives an electric car and installed a 10-KW rooftop solar system in 2001 which is so large and efficient that he claims he only pays $60/year for electricity for his entire home.

The eight redwoods were planted between 1997 and 1999 along the fence that separates the two properties and are now each between 20 and 40 feet tall. The solar panel owner claims he asked his neighbors to chop down their redwoods, which were planted from 1997 to 1999 along the property line, before he installed his solar panels. Many squabbles later, he asked the neighbors to cut the redwood trees back, and they did cut the top of one of the trees back about 15 feet.

The Solar Shade Act was written to guarantee that an owner’s investment in solar panels would not be diminished by shade from neighboring trees or shrubs. The law affects trees planted after 1979 and bans trees or shrubs that shade more than 10 percent of a neighbor’s solar panels between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. daily. The law applies to existing trees and shrubs that later grow large enough to shade solar panels. Violations of the Solar Shade Act are like a parking ticket, accumulating for each occasion with daily fines of up to $1,000.

In a partial victory for each side, the tree owners were found guilty of a single count of violating the Solar Shade Control Act by the court and ordered to remove the two redwoods that create the most shade over the solar panels, with the remaining six trees allowed to remain undisturbed as they are. The judge waived all shade fines.

In response to the verdict a California Senator has now introduced a new bill to ensure that trees planted before solar panels are installed have a right to grow in peace and remain undisturbed.

Read more here.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 April 2008 08:09

David Stellmack

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments