Is Your Business Energy Efficient Enough?

Boston solar panel installation

A new trend in solar energy is slowly growing across California and other states. While residential solar power systems are still the bulk of the solar renewable energy industry, companies are looking for ways to increase their solar energy installations in ways that benefit their businesses. The newest trend in corporate solar energy seems to be the installation of solar canopies over parking lots.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, between 35 and 50% of cities are covered in blacktop, which absorbs the sun’s rays and retains heat. Covering parking lots with carports made of solar panels has numerous benefits. Drivers spend less energy cooling cars that have been parked in the shade, drivers of electric cars have a way to charge their cars away from home, and adjoining buildings receive electricity from the solar energy technology.

At the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field, 80% of the electricity on game days comes from their 841-space solar carport. On non-game days, 100% of the field’s electricity is provided by the carport.
Solar carports have been installed on the corporate campuses of major companies such as Staples and Dow Jones and Co., as well as at luxury hotels.

While solar carports may sound like the solution of the future, they are still growing much more slowly than residential solar power systems. The biggest challenge to installing solar carports is the prohibitive cost. While carport installers have seen the prices drop, most solar carports are being installed in states where companies can take advantage of solar incentives. Without government incentives, solar carports remain too expensive for most companies to take advantage of.

Because solar carports come with so many benefits for the community, they will continue to spread through markets where solar incentives are available, lowering the cost of installation. As costs decrease, business owners in other states will be sure to install solar carports to create a better environment for their customers and their vehicles.

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