As the adoption of solar technologies become more widely accepted, many developers and EPC’s are finding new and innovative ways to integrate new projects into their solar portfolio. One of the newest ideas is the construction of solar carports and solar canopies. This new innovation has allowed for solar production in already existing applications as well as providing tremendous opportunity for future construction projects. While a typical carport or canopy provides value in simple shading it is still a one-dimensional benefit that is missing a major opportunity. This innovation partnered with lower prices industry wide is making solar carports and solar canopies a reality.
Commercial Opportunities for Solar Carports
Many commercial buildings have been built without the opportunity of solar in mind. As of recently, a number of commercial rooftop projects have launched allowing companies to engage in renewable initiatives. This has been achieved through various incentive programs, company culture initiatives and cost savings. These projects however, represent a small percentage overall commercial solar projects due to a number of issues.
Issues With Rooftop Commercial Solar Arrays
Commercial structures often times have an extended lifespan but maintenance is required to maintain the facility. Many structures are built with the intention that the roof will be used only to drain water from the structure and not with the idea of weight loads. This means that a number of commercial buildings cannot support the weight of a solar array, with additional concerns arising about water flow to drain the roof properly.
Utilize Already Used Land For Solar
One of the major benefits of solar carports is the dual-use of already used land. Parking lots are vast and large in space and provide a much more usable opportunity for solar than rooftop applications. Land that is already being used can be better utilized and made more comfortable by its users by the use of solar carports. The solar carports provide shade but will also provide electrical production to either cut costs or to provide power for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Incentives Using Solar Carports
Many States Are Already On Board
In the past 12 months a number of states in the U.S. have adopted and executed incentive programs specifically for solar carports. Maryland currently has a grant program for commercial-scale solar carports and Massachusetts has recently added solar carports to the SMART Program (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target). There are also national tax credits up to 30% for installation of solar carports for some users (depending on business size, ownership status, minority owned businesses, women owned businesses, military veteran owned businesses).
The ITC And Commercial Solar Carports
The International Trade Commission rulings have been a hot topic in any manufacturing linked business, but there is fantastic news on the horizon in the case of commercial solar carports. Not only can you get the 30% reduction in cost on the solar panels, but also the structural components, which in some cases will lower the cost below roof-mount systems. The ITC tariffs also discount the installation of the ground-mounted solar carports which is not included on roof-mount systems.
A Market On The Rise
As the U.S. commercial solar carport market continues to grow, forecasts from even a year ago seem more than conservative. What was forecast to be a 300 MW market 3 years ago is now over a 1 GW market in North America annually
Some predictions headed into the 2020’s predict that commercial solar carports could become one of the leading sources of solar power generation nationwide.
Your Trusted Solar Carport Partner
Sun Action Trackers has over 1 GW of solar installations worldwide and continues to innovate and adapt to the solar needs of our growing industry. Our experienced team offers full-service capabilities including design, engineering, manufacturing and installation with a track record of success nationwide. Each of our solar carport solutions is specifically designed to maximize production based on land specifications, environmental patterns, etc.
Each of Sun Action Trackers’ solar carport designs are engineered to be simple, effective and easy to install. This simplification allows for cost savings across the board and limits overall maintenance of the solar carports. Our solutions and installations are so streamlined that we are pleased to say that we are the most cost-effective solar carport solution in the industry.
If you would like to learn more about how Sun Action Trackers can support your solar carport project, please CONTACT US today for more information.