When building the first new barn for their organic chicken operation, the owners of Yorkshire Valley Farms saw an opportunity to generate a secondary income with a 104 kW FIT solar system on the barn roof.

From the beginning, the building design was optimized for solar in two ways: the roof pitch was increased for improved PV performance and the roof structure was designed for greater constructability. We designed the system using 540 modules and 270 micro-inverters. The Communication Gateway allows module-by-module performance and error monitoring to maximize long term system performance.

To facilitate the large amount of materials that needed to be placed on the roof, we used a telehandler to retrieve full skids of modules from a storage trailer, move them to the installation location, and place the entire skid right at working height at any point from the eave to the top of the roof.

Despite the many bureaucratic challenges, this solar project pushed the envelope and persevered to become: 1) one of the first FIT projects to reach commercial operation; 2) the first Enphase FIT project to reach commercial operation; and 3) the first FIT project for its Hydro One service region.