NO City Council OKs solar panels in French Quarter
"Hedge-Morrell, who chairs the council's Utility Committee, noted that power generated by such panels cannot be sold back to Entergy New Orleans, meaning that hopes of a financial windfall are unlikely to be realized."
Please if ANYONE should understand this issue it's the councilmember who SITS on the Utility Committee. Legislation is what it would take to change the rules so that individuals could sell surplus energy generated back to Entergy.
And the fact that we can't right now is a ridiculous reason to vote against new energy sources and self sufficiency.
Full Article below:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans City Council has voted to let a French Quarter resident install solar panels on the roof of his 19th century home.
Glade Bilby had sought approval to install the panels, which turn sunlight into electric power, on one side of the roof of his town house in the heart of the historic neighborhood. However, the Vieux Carre Commission — which is charged with protecting and preserving the architectural integrity of the Quarter — denied Bilby's application last October in a 5-3 vote.
Bilby appealed the decision to the council, which overturned the commission's decision Thursday in a 6-1 vote.
Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, whose district includes the Quarter, supported the project. She said the city has to start somewhere to begin incorporating new technologies and energy-efficiency improvements into the city's historic buildings.
"I think we're constantly weighing that discussion of technology and living a modern life in a modern world," Palmer, who emphasized her credentials as a longtime preservationist, said.
In opposition, Dr. Ralph Lupin, who chairs the Vieux Carre Commission, warned against the move.
"If you damage the integrity of the French Quarter by this intrusion into what was built there several hundred years ago, you are asking for heartache," he said, according to an account of the meeting in The Times-Picayune.
Lupin has said allowing the panels could set a precedent for the entire neighborhood.
Palmer stipulated that the panels would need to be installed parallel with the existing roof, no more than 12 inches above it and in a matching color that would work toward "minimizing visual clutter."
Lupin said the additional conditions imposed by Palmer didn't make him feel any better about the proposal.
"I am extremely sensitive to what the French Quarter represents to this community," Lupin said. "If you talk to any of the people walking down the streets of the French Quarter, and you see literally hundreds of them everyday, they're not walking down the streets because of whether or not the French Quarter is solar-healthy."
Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell cast the lone vote against the proposal.
Hedge-Morrell, who chairs the council's Utility Committee, noted that power generated by such panels cannot be sold back to Entergy New Orleans, meaning that hopes of a financial windfall are unlikely to be realized.
Tucker Crawford, chief executive officer of Metairie-based South Coast Solar, however said that situation could change. In the meantime, he said, the panels could still help Bilby chip away at his electricity costs.