Powered Parking

By Maura Mone

When you look at parking lots you may just see a place to park your car, but at National Grid, we’re looking at our parking lots in a whole new light – a solar light that is. We’re embarking on a project at two of our major office locations to bring solar canopies to our parking lots.

What’s a solar canopy? It’s an awning that is built over a parking lot with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on top to capture solar energy. The canopies will be installed at our Northboro and Worcester office locations.

We’ll own and operate the canopies, and we’ll sell that energy the same way that we do at our other solar sites – generating clean energy and linking it to our distribution system.

This effort is part of our Phase III solar plan in Massachusetts, where we’re working to build and connect up to an additional 14 MW of solar generation capacity with system enhancements such as sun-tracking systems, canopy racking and energy storage.

Our solar Phase III plan (of which these canopies are one component) will bring us to 35 MW of solar generation in the state of MA, the maximum that we are allowed to own.

We’re leading the way in the transition to a clean energy future, and we think integrating creative solutions like this will help pave the way for others to follow.

In addition to generating solar energy, the canopies will bring added benefits, like shade in the hot summer months and snow cover during the winter.

Also, as we embark on more work in the electric vehicle (EV) space, there is the potential to integrate electric vehicle charging stations into the canopy systems, allowing for increased promotion of workplace charging.

While the canopies are being installed (August through December), parking will be impacted in both Worcester and Northboro, but information will be posted in At A Glance regularly once construction begins.

And don’t worry; no existing parking spots will be eliminated. The amount at each site remains the same. After the construction, you’ll be able to park your car as you normally do under the panels.

Click here to view a poster with more information about the panels.

One Comment

Josh

Whoever thought of this concept should be elected for the chairman’s awards, this is a great idea that seems like a win win for everybody, covered parking and electric generation using space we already have and aren’t utilizing currently. Kudos to that person and NES that thought of this!!!!

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