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.
“The solar canopy is a great example of the importance the Volvo Group places on environmental care, which has been one of our core values for many years”, says Pierre Jenny, Volvo Group vice president of powertrain production. “We’re now able to convert energy from the sun into clean electricity to help power some of our operations.”
Covering the plant’s entire north parking lot, the solar canopy in Hagerstown 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.
The Volvo Group’s Hagerstown facility has been active in improving its energy efficiency. In late 2014, the site was named a Superior Energy Performance® Platinum-Certified Partner, the highest level in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program. The facility also participates in the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program, which has a target to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period.