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Tree Removal for Solar Installs

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Solar requires lots of uninterrupted sun.  If a portion of a solar array is shaded then it means that the entire array may be producing much less than the portion of the array being shaded.  That’s because unless your solar modules have power optimizers or micro-inverters directly connected to them of them then the array performs like a Christmas light out in a string of lights. The entire string of solar that is shaded is compromised during a partial shading event.

Florida statutes allow trees to be taken out if the trees affect solar production.  The local tree removal ordinances, covenants, or other agreements do not govern which trees can be removed for solar production.  Florida state statutes ensure that the tree can be removed for the purposes of installing an unshaded array.

Florida Chapter 163.04 (2) Energy Devices Based on Renewable Sources states “No deed restrictions, covenants, or similar binding agreements running with the land shall prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restrictions, covenants, or binding agreements. A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices based on renewable resources by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings not exceeding three stories in height. For purposes of this subsection, such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45 degrees east or west of due south provided that such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors”.  Therefore, a tree that shades a solar array is up to the array owner’s choice to remove the tree.