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The Green Life: Bright Idea: Cover Parking Lots With Solar Panels

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July 09, 2010

Bright Idea: Cover Parking Lots With Solar Panels

Solar panels in parking lotsIf you're going to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, at least cover it with a bunch of solar panels. That's the message behind this excellent interview
with Envision Solar CEO Robert Noble in the New York Times Green blog.

For the past four years, Envision Solar has been sheltering the concrete deserts that are parking lots – and prime real estate and urban heat islands to boot – with 1,000-square-foot solar canopies. The juice generated by the shade-providing panels flow into adjacent commercial buildings. (See photos of UC San Diego's solar lots here.)

But with the rise of EVs, the company is working on modifying its designs to function as vehicle-charging stations. That could create a harmonious renewable system (like this one) of PVs and EVs, independent of oil and coal power plants. And it would add a purposeful element to those empty, destitute stretches of asphalt.

--Brian Foley / photo courtesy Envision Solar


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