Solar canopies can put PV panels in some new and interesting places


With the cost of solar panels falling through the floor (2020 solar module pricing is now below $0.25/watt) and projected to continue falling steadily, where are we going to put all those beautiful panels?

Rooftops are a great place. Open land can be good in some areas, but not when it competes with natural habitat or agriculture. What about parking lots, canals, train lines, highways, and other areas already being used for some other activity?

That seems like a great idea to a lot of people and a number of companies are working on this growing area for solar deployment. I’ll focus on just one company in this piece, P4P Energy, a small company founded by Stephen Conger and based in Boulder, Colorado.

P4P has designed and installed a number of solar canopies in India over canals, one of the more promising use cases for this new technology. Their technology relies on an innovative design that significantly reduces the amount of racking required to support the panels. Basically, the designs rely on cables to support the panels, rather than fixed racking. And that reduces the costs substantially.

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