{Eco Inspiratons} Solar Canopies at Rutgers University

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (USA), has embarked on an inspiring green initiative – the installation of  more than 40,000 high efficiency solar panels on canopy structures over two major surface parking areas on the Livingston Campus. This represents one of the largest solar canopy energy systems in the nation.  In conjunction with the existing 1.4 megawatt solar energy facility on this campus, the project will generate an additional 8 megawatts, which will be enough power to satisfy 63% of the electrical demand on Livingston Campus. Construction commenced in May 2011 with completion of the project planned for Summer 2012.

According to Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick, “This exciting and innovative project demonstrates Rutgers’ ongoing commitment to energy conservation and environmentally sound practices. Rutgers takes environmental stewardship seriously, and the university is proud to be a leader in developing renewable energy resources in New Jersey.”

Image from http://www.solairegeneration.com/

Solar canopies convert sunlight into electricity. Built over parking lots, they also provide people and cars with shelter from the sun, rain and snow. Light fixtures and security cameras mounted under the canopies can improve nighttime safety.

Image from http://newyork.construction.com

Although Rutgers has its own efficient bus  system and cycle paths for students to get from campus to campus, New Jersey, unfortunately, does not have efficient intrastate mass transit options. Most faculty and staff have little choice on how to get to work: we drive our cars. So I find it gratifying and inspiring that a couple of huge parking areas on the suburban campus will now serve a dual purpose and the clean energy that the solar canopies provide can help to offset perhaps a small part of the emissions generated by so many cars on campus.

Information and top image from: http://news.rutgers.edu

Posted by LindaEve

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  1. Why aren’t all parking lots across the US doing this? All that useless space could be put to work so easily.

  2. Annabel says:

    Makes sense..

  3. WOO HOO for my Alma mater! Livingston really is the “sticks” out of all the Rutgers New Brunswick campuses. Glad to see this initiative taking place there and hope it spreads, even if in other forms, to the rest of the campuses.