New York solar adheres to the international fire code, so there are some restrictions on where panels can go on your roof, which can affect your system design.
Panels must be at least 3 feet away from any ridge or rake. A ridge is where two slanted roofs meet. A ridge is also parallel to the ground. A rake is the angled edge of a roof at the end of the house.
Panels must be at least a foot and a half away from any hip or valley. A hip is where two slanted roofs meet at an angle to form a pointed slanted edge. Conversely, a valley is where two slanted roofs meet to form an inside angle.
There is no restriction on how close panels can be to an eave, which is the lower edge of the roof.
One exception in New York is for flat roofs. On flat roofs, there must be a 6 foot wide area leading from the front of the house to the back, and a 6 foot wide area leading from one side to the other.
If your roof won’t allow for enough panels to offset your energy, you can pursue a ground mount if you have adequate available land on your property. Ground mounted systems, however, usually cost more than roof mounted systems.