Newlyweds Sarah Lozanova and Kiril Lozanov
conquered siting and approval obstacles to install
a 1.7-kilowatt photovoltaic system on the roof of
their condo building.
in a Condo
How one couple overcame the challenges to install
a photovoltaic system at their condominium.
■ Estimated annual production:
■ Maximum watts: 1,800
■ Projected annual carbon dioxide
offset: 1.41 metric tons
■ Monthly demand for household
of three: <200 kilowatt-hours
■ Annual utility bill savings: $160 in
year one (at current electric rates)
By Sarah Lozanova
Despite our great passion for and jobs in the wind and solar industries, my husband and I assumed it would be impossible to install a
solar electricity system at our condominium unit. We knew that
Chicago receives enough sun to generate plenty of solar energy, but
obtaining approval from our condo owners’ association seemed a lot
less certain. The cost would be considerable for us as newlyweds. And
although the roof had plenty of space for solar panels and good solar
exposure, we don’t own exclusive roof rights. Yet when we sat down
to create a gift registry before our wedding last September, we realized
that the only thing we really wanted was a solar system.
Less than a year later, our condominium is now equipped with a
1.7-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system that generates more than enough
electricity on an annual basis to power our unit. How did we do it?
Friends and family contributed to purchasing the solar system as our
main wedding gift, with government incentives offsetting much of the
remaining cost. But our passion to go solar was the most necessary
ingredient, because installing the system for one unit of a condominium building required creativity, ingenuity and persistence.