Solar Parking: How Smart Is This?

John Robb posts regularly about resilience strategies, like growing food locally, local energy production, local manufacturing, etc. A recent post mentioned a city in California that is producing a huge amount of solar electricity, and it showed the an example of a school parking lot with solar carports.

Solar. Parking. This is smack-my-forehead obvious as a good idea. In sunnier places, solar cover in parking areas keeps cars shaded (which among other things, cuts down on car fuel consumption for air conditioning) while producing electricity. Up here where it snows a lot, solar carports make even more sense to keep cars shaded in summer and relatively free of ice and snow in winter.

I went to Flickr, as I often do, to find a photography to show you what I mean, and to my surprise the great picture that came up is of a parking lot about 10 miles from my house, in Burlington, Vermont. You can see it here: use the satellite view if it doesn’t come up automatically.

Behind the Unitarian Church in Burlington, Vermont

Behind the Unitarian Church in Burlington, Vermont

Think of the parking lots where you shop, work, or go to school. They’re generally barren, producing nothing, serving no other purpose than to contain cars. Why does it have to be that way? Let’s turn them into solar farms instead.

Photo by Don Shall