PV and solar thermal system siting, design, and performance issues in the Northeast can vary greatly by location, as the terrain includes coastal plains in the east, and the Appalachian range and foothills in the west. PV mount design should take into account high coastal winds and special wind regions: canyons through which wind may be funneled at high speeds, and the upper reaches of isolated hills and ridges.
Heavy snow loads typical in higher altitudes or caused by lake-effect snows will require consideration. Roof-mounted systems installed at very low tilt angles may need to be hand-cleared, or will suffer decreased output until the snow melts. In snowy regions, pole-mounted systems should be designed to keep the lowest modules out of the snow.
As with other structures, ground-mounted systems must take into consideration the depth of the frost lines to avoid frost heave. And the subsoil rocky ledge of western New England may require “pinning” or other special installation methods for pole and ground mounts.
Finally, all PV systems must use durable materials that can withstand the elements for 25 years or more, especially the corrosive effects of salt air near the coast. Your local installers and the manufacturers of system components are excellent resources for dealing with special considerations in your climate.