Should You Install a Solar Carport in your business? Learn Everything You Need to Know!
A solar carport is a structure that provides shade and shelter for vehicles while also generating solar energy. Discover the pros of solar carports, available designs, and how they work. This ultimate guide will help you determine if a solar carport is worth the investment and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Solar carports are structures designed to provide shade and protection for vehicles, while also generating electricity from solar panels installed on the roof. Solar carports are increasingly being adopted by businesses to benefit from clean, renewable energy.
The key benefits of solar carports for businesses include:
• Cost savings – businesses can reduce electricity bills by using solar energy generated from the carport. The savings can pay back the cost of installation in 3-10 years.
• Sustainability – solar carports allow businesses to source green, renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint. This supports environmental sustainability goals.
• Energy resiliency – solar carports produce electricity on-site, reducing reliance on the grid. This provides energy security if the grid goes down.
• Employee benefits – solar carports provide shade and shelter, improving the parking area. Employees may also feel pride in their company’s commitment to sustainability.
• Customer attraction – solar carports demonstrate a company’s values. Customers may prefer supporting sustainable businesses.
This guide will explore the key benefits of solar carports for businesses in-depth, providing actionable insights on how they can be a smart investment.
Installing solar carports in your business parking lots can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. By generating your own electricity from the sun’s rays, you’ll reduce the amount of electricity you need to purchase from the grid. This leads to lower monthly electricity bills.
The upfront investment for installing solar carports can seem daunting at first.
Installing solar carports demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and reducing your business’s carbon footprint. By generating clean, renewable energy from the sun, solar carports help cut down on the burning of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and pollution.
Businesses that install solar carports make progress towards renewable energy goals and targets. As more businesses switch to renewables like solar energy, we come closer to transitioning away from coal, oil, and natural gas. Solar carports allow businesses to be part of the solution. Having solar carports also provides useful green marketing opportunities. Businesses can promote their solar carports to showcase their values and efforts towards sustainability. Customers increasingly want to support responsible and eco-friendly companies. Solar carports are a visual symbol of a business’s sustainability that customers will recognize. Promoting solar carports can attract environmentally-minded customers.
Installing solar carports provides businesses with energy resiliency against power outages and disruptions.
Solar carports with integrated battery storage offer even greater protection. The batteries store excess solar energy during peak production hours. That stored energy can then be used at night or during a power outage. This provides a reliable on-site source of backup power generation. Having resilient renewable energy production capabilities is extremely valuable for businesses. They allow companies to maintain full or partial operations even when the grid is compromised.
Installing solar carports offers several benefits for your employees.
One major advantage is providing shaded parking for staff. On hot sunny days, employees will appreciate having covered spaces to park their vehicles, keeping them cool and protected. This can improve employee satisfaction and retention.
Solar carports also enable you to install electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for staff. As more employees drive EVs, having charging stations available allows them to charge their cars while at work. This incentive helps attract and keep employees who own EVs. The charging infrastructure also shows your commitment to sustainability.
Overall, solar carports demonstrate you value your employees by investing in their comfort and supporting their shift to more eco-friendly transportation. The shade and EV charging perks can give your business a competitive advantage in recruitment and retention. Employees are drawn to companies that visibly care about their well-being and environmental priorities.
Installing solar carports visibly demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability. For businesses wanting to attract eco-conscious consumers, a solar carport serves as a unique green feature that sets them apart from competitors. Unlike rooftop solar panels that customers rarely see, solar carports are front and center in the parking lot for all to observe. Their visibility allows companies to showcase their sustainable values and practices to customers and the public. Also, electric car owners can take advantage of their stay at your business by charging either complimentary or by paying a tolerable fee. The structure provides a constant reminder to visitors of the company’s eco-friendly identity. Ultimately, the high visibility of solar carports transforms them into a marketing asset that helps attract and retain sustainability-focused customers. Their prominence supports branding goals in a way that less conspicuous renewable energy systems cannot. For any business seeking to visibly demonstrate its commitment to green practices, solar carports are an impactful customer magnet.
Installing solar panels on top of carport structures allows organizations to efficiently utilize the space above their parking lots or garages that would otherwise remain unused. This dual-use application means organizations do not have to sacrifice additional land area in order to install a solar energy system.
Solar carports essentially turn a parking lot into a solar farm, generating clean, renewable power from an existing footprint. Organizations can therefore reap the benefits of on-site solar energy without needing to construct a separate solar installation on any undeveloped land. This helps preserve green space and avoids any extra environmental impact.
Solar carports are an ideal solution for organizations that want to adopt renewable energy but have limited available land on their property. Malls, office parks, universities, hospitals, and other organizations with large parking facilities are perfect candidates for solar carports. Installing the structures above the existing hardscape and pavement maximizes the utilization of the space.
The dual-use concept of solar carports eliminates the additional land requirements often associated with solar panel installations. Organizations can cut their conventional energy use through on-site solar power generation, without compromising existing real estate or acquiring additional property.
Installation & Maintenance
Installing a solar carport system requires careful planning and execution. The installation process typically involves the following key steps:
• Site evaluation – The proposed location is assessed for solar access, structural integrity to support the additional weight and potential obstructions. Engineers conduct design calculations to determine the optimal solar panel configuration.
• Permitting – The necessary building and electrical permits are obtained from local authorities before starting construction. Permit requirements vary by jurisdiction.
• Carport structure installation – The carport columns and beams are installed first to create the underlying support frame. The carport can be mounted on poles or integrated into an existing building’s structure.
• Electrical work – Underground conduit is laid to connect the carport solar array to the electrical room which houses inverters, transformers, and metering equipment.
• Solar panel mounting – Racking systems specially designed for solar carports are used to mount the PV panels onto the carport at the calculated angles. Panels are securely fastened and connected via wiring harnesses.
• Commissioning and inspection – Once installation is complete, engineers test system functionality and safety. The local utility company then inspects the system before final approval to operate.
Installing solar carports offers numerous benefits for businesses seeking to reduce costs, demonstrate environmental stewardship, and provide additional value to employees and customers. By installing solar panels above their existing parking lots, companies can generate clean energy without sacrificing land usage. The electricity produced from solar carports can lead to substantial long-term savings on energy bills. For many businesses, the costs of installing solar carports can pay for themselves within just a few years.
Solar carports are an excellent option for companies looking to improve their sustainability. By producing renewable energy on-site, businesses shrink their carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. This supports larger efforts to combat climate change through clean energy adoption. Many companies highlight their solar carports as evidence of their commitment to responsible environmental practices.
Workers appreciate companies that install solar carports in the parking lot. It provides them shade and protection from the elements when walking to their vehicle. Solar carports also reinforce a company’s image as forward-thinking and environmentally conscious. Customers similarly view solar carports as a sign of a business’s progressive approach and values.
Any company that owns its parking lot or garage should strongly consider installing solar carports. They generate significant long-term savings while minimizing land usage. With many financial incentives available, solar carports make sense both economically and environmentally. They demonstrate a commitment to employees, customers, and the community while benefiting a company’s bottom line also with the prospect of commercial use.
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