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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

New resolution aims to include condominiums in the regulation regarding solar panel installations

By The Star Staff

Due to the increasing interest in potentially installing photovoltaic energy systems (solar panels) in condominiums and walk-up buildings, Representative Víctor Parés announced the filing of a resolution to direct the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO in Spanish) to establish regulations to govern this practice.

“Due to the uniqueness of photovoltaic energy systems, it was previously presumed that these could not be installed in condominiums and/or walk-up buildings. However, this is not accurate at present. Advancements in collection technology (panels), storage structures (batteries), and transfer methods have made it feasible to create co-ownership concepts of these platforms in units of horizontally owned housing,” commented Parés, representing San Juan’s District #4.

“We have observed how the industry is moving towards offering these systems in condominiums and/or walk-up buildings. There are already condominiums with systems installed in common areas. We’ve seen solar panels on security guard booths and other areas. However, at this time, the Condominium Regulation No. 9386 of June 7, 2022, created by DACO under the auspices of Law 129-2020, does not encompass this new model of renewable energy,” added the legislator.

As explained by the Representative, there are two co-ownership models for condominiums. The first is known as the “Project Association,” which outlines that these systems will be installed and used to provide energy in common areas such as parking lots, hallways, and recreational zones, among others. The second alternative is the “Owners’ Gathering,” which focuses on uniting various owners to facilitate the installation of these systems for mutual benefits.

States like California, Florida, and Georgia have developed parameters that allow for the installation of these co-ownership systems in condominiums. In fact, in California, it is a requirement that all new horizontally owned housing units have these platforms. The same applies in the state of Oregon.

Over the past five years, the installation of photovoltaic energy platforms for residential properties has experienced a significant boom in Puerto Rico. According to available data, approximately 3,000 new solar panel systems are installed each month on the island. This figure is expected to increase with the influx of federal funds associated with the Department of Housing’s New Energy program, which provides assistance to low and moderate-income families for the acquisition of these platforms.

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