Carports used for solar power have been in the news recently, especially in North America. The last post covered the largest solar carport, which is located at a New Jersey college, but most news items regarding these types of carports haven’t covered a combination we saw in England several months ago: solar carports used with electric cars. But a news item recently covers this combination at a school in Long Island experimenting with both solar carports and using electric cars with them. The school, the New York Institute of Technology, has designed the carports and has been using Toyota Prius cars with them.
The college, located in Old Westbury, created solar carports, according to the article, that can produce 33 kilowatt hours of electricity per day. With one carport per parking spot, charging an electric car in one of these spaces gives enough power for a 20 mile commute. The actual design of these particular carports, as implied by the article, involves one carport per space, not the large carport shelters seen in the last post at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Nevertheless, while students are in class, they can park and plug their cars into one of these spaces under a solar carport and charge up the car. While some students may drive more than 20 miles per day, they can charge the Prius cars at home using a large extension cords. As some students at the school are involved in a drive-share program, they’re encouraged to take the Prius cars from school to home and back again.
This solar carport is the first of its kind on Long Island. According to the article, it was funded by the LIPA and federal Department of Energy as an experiment but also an effort to attempt to replace traditional energy with solar and, with the electric cars, to reduce emissions on the island.