Solar PV Parking Lots From Coast to Coast

solar parking lots

Cities all across the country are seeing the benefits of installing solar panels over parking lots.

From San Diego, California, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, some cities in the U.S.A. are bold about committing to renewable energy sources such as solar power.  In particular, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in parking lots are making a showing from coast to coast, shining a light on the benefits and value of clean energy.

The San Diego Zoo is set to generate energy from the sun which will be used to charge electric cars, shade the parking lot, and more.  A solar photovoltaic canopy is scheduled to be installed in the San Diego Zoo parking lot, a project shared by the zoo and Smart City San Diego, a consortium of local businesses.

The solar PV canopy will provide shade for 50 cars and will also provide electricity for five car-charging stations.  The system will be comprised of ten solar canopies, and it will feed into a 100-kilowatt battery storage system.

san diego zoo solar

This major solar PV project at the San Diego Zoo is one of the first of its kind in the entire country.

Excess energy produced from full batteries will be redirected.  It’s expected that enough additional power will be generated to provide all of the peak-production electricity needed for 59 homes. The batteries which store the solar energy will allow for overnight charging, as well.

According to a project spokesperson, this is one of the first ever projects like this one, in which solar energy is the direct source used for charging electric cars.

Have you ever seen a solar PV canopy?  It will look like a tree – a solar tree.  There will be solar panels above, and the base is a charging station.

Construction of this solar project is well underway and expected to be completed in November.  The ten solar PV canopies are positioned in the zoo parking lot’s southeastern section.

The Department of Energy provided federal stimulus money which is paying for these innovative car-charging stations through a program called the EV Project.  Eventually, 1,000 car charging stations total are slated to be installed in San Diego County as part of this federal initiative.

Attempts to move forward with the EV Project have been hindered because of difficulties in finding locations for charging stations where parking spaces are already scarce.  In fact, many businesses in the San Diego area have refused to sacrifice their parking spaces to make room for the solar charging stations.  So there has been much cause to celebrate the addition of the solar canopies in the San Diego Zoo parking lot.

electric car charging spaces

The 6 electric car charging spaces will be powered by the solar PV panels overhead.

In Atlantic City, a state-of-the-art parking facility has recently opened which also features a solar PV system and a charging station for electric cars.

At the Atlantic City Expressway – at the intersection of Fairmont Avenue and Mississippi Avenue – a parking lot has been constructed which some consider to be downright amazing.

The beauty of this parking lot isn’t even the fact that it offers convenient parking for convention center overflow, Tanger Outlets, the Walk, and other large events which are held in Atlantic City.  In short, this impressive garage is an asset to the entire Atlantic City Tourism District.

The cost of this parking facility was $32 million.  It features 1,677 solar panels which are installed on the top floor and which generate over 400 kilowatt hours of solar electricity daily.  The garage has over 16,999 square feet of retail space, glass-enclosed elevators, and 1,180 parking spaces on five levels.

Electric cars will find six charging stations to choose from in this amazing garage, which has been nicknamed the Wave Parking Garage.

Perhaps these solar PV powered parking areas on the east and west coasts will help to start a whole new wave of innovative solar projects across the nation.

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