At EnterSolar we focus exclusively on corporate clients and their solar photovoltaic (PV) needs, and we are seeing an increasing number of our clients express an interest in pursuing LEED certification. A solar PV system can be a key contributor to a company’s LEED certification process for any specific facility.
What is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a framework for identifying and implementing measurable and practical and green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000, the LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
What does LEED measure?
LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale (plus a potential 10% bonus), and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. For New Construction and Major Renovation projects, there are four tiers of LEED Certification, each with specific LEED Point Requirements: Certified (40-49), Silver (50-59), Gold (60-79), and Platinum (80-110).
How can Solar help with LEED Certification?
Solar projects can provide a major contribution towards LEED Certification. The primary LEED category pertaining to solar is the “Energy & Atmosphere” category, specifically EA Credit 2, the “On-Site Renewable Energy” credit. This credit can provide up to 7 possible LEED points (which could represent over 17% of the points required for certification). The actual LEED points awarded are determined by the percentage of the facility’s energy costs that are offset by on-site renewable energy:
There are several other potential solar benefits for the LEED process, including solar parking canopy projects (SS Credit 7.1) and Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) procurement programs (EA Credit 6).
We are excited to see the increased participation in LEED by corporations across the U.S., and we believe that solar PV projects can and should be a critical component of any LEED project.
Please contact us to learn more about how solar can help your company achieve the coveted LEED Certification.