The Alternative Energy Committee and Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee are in discussions on how to accommodate alternative energy features into the Historic District. From reading a variety or articles on-line, it is clear that this is a significant issue. There are reports of areas allowing solar and wind facilities with limited restrictions on historic structures as well as reports of out-right prohibitions. There are also reports of state initiatives to over-ride historic district as well as home-owner restrictions on the placement of alternative energy facilities on residential properties. Clearly, this is an issue for careful consideration.
Here are a variety of discussions addressing the compatability between historic structures and alternative energy.
Spring Lake Inn, Spring Lake, New Jersey provides an example of a historic structure which was allowed to place a number of solar panels on the front face. Here is a close-up of the photo-voltaic array on the roof.
And from Scotland this story about using solar and other green techniques to generate the savings and revenue needed to preserve Scottish antiquities. This particular entity is charged with preserving Scotland’s open areas as well as its historic properties.
Even the White House has hosted solar panels. In 1979, at the height of the last energy crisis, President Carter had panels installed on the roof of part of the building.
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal two years ago, An Inconvenient Turbine: Conservation vs. Preservation Homeowners Who Go Green Face Neighbors’ Objections; How Gore Got His Solar Panels. The article points out that the need for determining the appropriate balance between historic preservation and home owner association restrictions and energy saving improvements.
The following are a series of other articles dealing with the same issues we in Dennis are dealing with.