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Solar on parking lots: an idea whose time has come

Putting solar on parking lots produces clean energy, protects habitat and protects cars and drivers.

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Jay Black | Unsplash.com

Ten years ago, many Americans had never seen a parking lot covered with solar.  Today, the air space above America’s parking lots is one of the many places where solar is growing.

In Washington, D.C., Metro station parking lots will soon feature rooftop solar. New York’s JFK Airport is building a solar canopy over parking areas. The University of Massachusetts has installed solar canopies all over campus. And across the pond, lawmakers in France just decided to make solar canopies over parking lots for more than 80 cars standard to help grow renewable energy.

3 benefits of putting solar on parking lots

  1. Grow clean energy. Parking lot solar panels produce clean energy close to where it’s needed, reducing our dependence on polluting fossil fuels and the need for costly transmission lines. Solar canopies can also power EV charging infrastructure.
  2. Conserve open space. Parking lot solar panels directs development to the built environment, protecting valuable open space and habitat.
  3. Protect cars and drivers. Parking lot solar protects cars and drivers from the elements.

“Many of the environmental benefits of rooftop solar also apply to parking lot solar,” said Johanna Neumann, Senior Director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. “Lawmakers should incentivize putting solar on roofs and parking lots to grow clean energy and protect our environment.”

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Workers doing rooftop solar installation

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To protect our communities and the future of our planet, we must move off of fossil fuels, and businesses have a big role to play in that transition.


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