Even with the restrictions being placed on temporary, portable shelters and covers (which we have discussed previously in this blog, it seems as if canopies and carports are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. More and more are being seen, whether it is in typical locations (gas stations, banks, etc.) or uncommon areas (schools, office buildings, etc.) You have no doubt seen some canopy or carport installations along your route to work or in the middle of your town. If you are wondering why there are more now than ever before, there is a good reason.
Take a recent story from Clean Technica for instance. According to the piece, the Hemet Unified School District in California stands to save $300,000 annually by constructing 17 solar electric systems on its campuses:
“Hemet USD elementary, middle, and high schools will benefit from 4.4 megawatts of solar electric canopies over parking spaces and playgrounds across the district. Tioga [Energy] developed and will operate and maintain the systems as they sell the generated electricity to Hemet USD over the next 20 years at rates much lower than local utility rates, saving the school district approximately $300,000 per year.”
A press release from Tioga Energy goes further with the explanation of the benefits of the canopies, saying that they provide shade as well as a new source of energy for the district. The interesting element of this energy production is how Hemet will attain the electricity by paying out to Tioga over the next two decades – at a lower cost, of course:
“‘The Hemet Unified School District does an excellent job with monitoring its energy consumption, and its vision for further managing costs with solar was clear from the beginning,’ said Paul Detering, CEO of Tioga Energy.
If this type of project continues to be successful for campuses across the country, expect to see more canopies going up all over the place!