Can Maryland Parking Lots Really Produce Clean Energy?

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The Maryland Energy Administration announces a new program for parking lots in Maryland. The Solar Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program combines solar PV and EV charging infrastructure to deliver clean energy to the project facility and to the EVs parking onsite. 

 

The Maryland Energy Administration recently announced a new program for parking lots in Maryland, urging owners to take advantage of a new grant that promotes the use of solar PV. The Solar Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program (Parking Lot PV/EV Program) will combine two complementary technologies, solar PV and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, to deliver clean energy to the project facility and to the EVs parking onsite. It is anticipated that this will reduce electricity demand from the grid.

By siting solar PV canopies on parking pads, the canopies provide power to the facilities accompanying the lots and fuel the EV charging system located on the lot. The Maryland Energy Administration expects the Parking Lot PV/EV program will address the challenges faced by solar developers in building these canopies, specifically, the additional costs for materials and labor. Under $800 per kilowatt of installed solar PV capacity will now be awarded on a first come, first served basis to applicants, but only if the applicant meets the program requirements.

“This program is a great example of the potential future of renewable energy. The integration of renewable energy technologies and electric vehicle charging equipment with existing infrastructure is the next step in renewable energy deployments in Maryland,” stated the program director.

There is still time to apply for this program. To be eligible, applicants must install a solar PV canopy with a capacity of at least 125 kW and at least one level II electric vehicle charger, powered by the PV system. Also, parking lot canopies must be located on lots in use at least five days per week. The application deadline is May 15, 2014.

In the end, the grant program’s purpose is to increase awareness and acceptance of solar canopy and electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to encourage incorporation of this technology in the parking lot design process. For more information, see the program site.