First Look - Solar Parking Lots
By: Elizabeth Sherrod, managing editor and research director, NAIOP
Each Solar Grove™ provides shaded parking for six vehicles and ranges from 10 to 13 feet in height.
Building owners have another option for reducing their utility bills while also providing shade for their tenants’ cars.
Commercial parking lots and parking structures provide opportunity for solar deployment due to their large physical area, free from any obstruction that may cause shading on the photovoltaic panels.
Envision Solar’s solar parking arrays, known as Solar Groves™ can be used by property owners with large parking areas and high electric utility bills. Solar Groves are suited for a wide range of environments, including corporate campuses, commercial office buildings, light industrial facilities, shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, schools, universities, apartment complexes and medical facilities.
The pricing of a Solar Grove varies according to the size and existing site conditions; however, Envision Solar offers a financial analysis to help decision-makers through the process. Envision also provides Power Purchase Agreements which allow the property owner to purchase energy without the cost of ownership.
ParkSolar installations can also incorporate electric vehicle and hybrid electric vehicle charging stations. Envision Solar’s CleanCharge™ invention is an integrated solar to smart-grid electric vehicle charging system comprised of a Solar Tree® and an electric vehicle charging infrastructure system. The solar charging stations include a parking shade structure, solar PV modules, inverters, battery back-ups and other technologies. According to the manufacturer, CleanCharge has the flexibility to charge a range of vehicles, from small, personal electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, to large electric utility vehicles. The integrated battery backup, which stores charge during sunny weather, can recharge vehicles at night and during cloudy weather.
CleanCharge has been included in Solar Grove™ shaded parking structures at various locations including the headquarters of Dell Computer in Round Rock, Texas.
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