Volvo Group North America’s Hagerstown powertrain manufacturing facility has dedicated a new parking lot solar canopy structure that generates clean, renewable electricity, while keeping vehicles protected from the weather.
The Volvo Group partnered with ConEdison Solutions and Entropy Solar Integrators on the design and installation of the solar canopy, which is among the largest on the East Coast.
Covering the plant’s entire north parking lot, the solar canopy contains approximately 5,000 solar panels and produces 1.3 megawatts of electricity. Electricity generated by the canopy is delivered directly to the facility, helping to offset the plant’s electrical demand. Because solar panels emit zero emissions, energy produced by the solar canopy is equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 236 average passenger vehicles, according to Entropy.
Entropy began installation and construction of the solar canopy in the fall of 2014. The solar canopy was completed during the summer of 2015. The Volvo Group entered into a 20-year contract with ConEdison Solutions to purchase electricity generated by the solar canopy.
Solar canopies are one of the fastest-growing segments of the solar market today. They take advantage of large expanses of parking lot space, typically available at commercial or industrial facilities, to produce electricity from solar photovoltaic panels. The panels are mounted to carport-like frames situated over parking spaces to provide parked vehicles shelter from the elements.
“By converting their parking area to a solar energy system, Volvo Trucks is not only generating clean energy, they are also keeping the hot sun off of their employees cars and protecting them from snow and ice in the winter months,” said Erik Lensch, managing director at Entropy. “As one of the largest solar parking canopies on the east coast, this complex project will be providing benefits to Volvo for decades to come.”