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Solar Canopies Complement Architecture

October 23, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage BankNRG Solar unveiled a customizable, freestanding solar canopy to expand the viability of solar installations beyond large, flat rooftops.

The company says its canopy is optimal for universities, hospitals, gas stations, banks, stadiums, bus stops and remote locations such as islands, parks and farms.

NRG Solar also says its existing customers have expressed interest in a solar power system that complements their architectural environment.

For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, through its partnership with NRG, is deploying solar canopies in addition to rooftop and ground mounted solar installations on selected hotels and resorts. These canopies will be customized to match the look and feel of each resort and used in diverse ways, including pool cabanas, a golf starter shack, shaded recreation areas, and covered food and beverage areas.

The canopy can provide supplemental power on and/or off the grid (dependent on configuration) to help manage energy costs along with usable shade and shelter. The canopy is designed using a modular kit produced by Sunora Energy Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Solar.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recognizes the top solar adopters to be facilities with large footprints and buildings with flat roofs that can support rooftop solar installations, according to NRG, which says its solar canopy will make the technology feasible for a wider audience.

The canopies will come in four models that will generate from 2.44 kW to 7.32 kW, depending on the geographic location. The solar canopy also offers optional bi-modal and off-grid capabilities, allowing unused solar energy to be stored to an optional battery backup housed within the canopy, instead of being sent to the public grid.



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