Massive Solar Parking Canopy Unveiled

Solar power - Car parking canopy

Bristol Community College and the Governor of Massachusetts have unveiled a 3.2 megawatt solar parking canopy at  the College’s Fall River Campus.

Constructed in partnership with PowerOptions and SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), the solar array will supply power for the entire Fall River Campus, plus the requirements for the John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building; currently under construction. The solar panel system combined with other energy efficiency features will enable the college to achieve a Zero Net Energy goal for the new building.

The solar panels will generate more than 34 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually and avoid the production of more than 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year

“A solar parking canopy system of this size and scale is the perfect fit for Bristol Community College’s renewable energy needs,” said Steve Raeder, SunEdison managing director of commercial and industrial for the Eastern U.S. “Colleges, municipalities and other facilities with large parking areas can also benefit from the innovative SunEdison solar parking canopy system, which provides shade and shelter in addition to generating cost effective, clean solar energy.

Governor Charlie Baker praised solar’s potential in his state.

“Initiatives like the solar canopy at Bristol Community College leverage opportunities at state facilities, and position the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while protecting the environment and moving towards our administration’s solar goal of generating 1,600 megawatts at homes, businesses, municipalities, and state agencies by 2020.”

Earlier this month, Governor Baker filed legislation to establish a long term, sustainable framework for further solar development in Massachusetts; which he said would be necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s goal.

As for Bristol Community College, in addition to shading for hundreds of vehicles; it will benefit from substantial savings over the next 20 years, estimated at more than USD $1.75 million. Electricity from the nearly 10,000 solar panels is being supplied under a power purchase agreement (solar PPA) with SunEdison; which is also providing ongoing operation and maintenance of the solar canopy.

Other solar power systems at the campus include in a 10-kilowatt PV installation on the Engineering Building (B) constructed in 2008 and in 2010 an 86-kilowatt system was installed onto buildings C, D, and F.

The latest project was made possible with the assistance of PowerOptions, which helps organisations consolidate their energy buying influence. The PowerOptions Solar Program assists nonprofits, government institutions, and municipalities enjoy the clean, cost-effective, and sustainable energy benefits of solar power.