Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Solar powered car…sort of

Posted by Evan Herrnstadt on October 14, 2008

I was driving through Maryland yesterday with some friends, and we were discussing what a new national PHEV recharging infrastructure might look like.  Although commercial PHEV’s are still at least a couple years away, Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc. is integrating them into its projects, linking charging stations to large solar arrays mounted on a parking facility.  This story is also just one more reminder that even straight EV’s aren’t carbon-free unless the source of electricity is as well.  It’s encouraging that there are some firms out there that get that.  From MarketWatch:

Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc., a leading solar integrator with operations in US and Europe, announced today that it has completed the first of two 201kW solar canopies which will total 402Kw, on the rooftops of two large six-story parking garages on each side of the new Trenton AMTRAK/NJ Transit center. Each project includes more than 600 solar panels. The solar systems are operated by Lawrenceville-based real estate developer, Nexus Properties, Inc. The scheduled ribbon cutting for the project is scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, 2008.

The dual-purpose “solar canopy” designed systems provide, on a combined basis, about 467,500kW hours per year — enough energy to heat and light 50 homes per year. The solar systems will eliminate approximately 141 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

In addition to producing clean energy for each of the parking structures, each solar array is being equipped with 110v charging stations for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs). These charging stations allow PHEVs to move closer to carbon independence by utilizing solar energy to directly recharge car batteries, reducing their reliance on fossil fuel. The power generated by the solar systems at times, will be more than the structures need, and Nexus Properties will be able to sell excess power back to the grid.

One Response to “Solar powered car…sort of”

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