Innovative Planned Community Has Everything — Including A Solar-Powered Parking Garage
Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) had an extraordinary vision for the Pike District in its home city – innovative, forward-thinking and attractive enough to bring new people to the area with apartments, restaurants, retail establishments and office space, designed to encourage a way of living.
They knew from the start they wanted to include electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in the garage, enough to make it the largest EV station installation in a commercial building in Maryland. To power these stations (along with 24/7 lighting to increase the garage’s safety), FRIT chose solar and partners with Standard Solat to install an 855-panel solar array on the parking garage’s roof.
“Incorporating solar garage canopies and EV-charging at Pike & Rose is a visible and beneficial part of the overall sustainability of this community,” says Jay Corbalis from FRIT. “It’s a great representation of our commitment to sustainability and combines the benefits of power to operate the garage with the ability for EV drivers to charge their vehicles with clean, renewable energy, produced onsite.”
Retail Garage-Top Solar Canopy Provides Plethora of EV Charging Stations
The 855-panel installation produces 350,875 kWh/year of electricity, the equivalent of changing 6,329 incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents (CFLs), preventing 259,878 pounds of coal from being burned or taking 576,062 passenger-car miles off the road. It offsets 30 percent of the building’s power needs, saving the developer and — eventually — its clients’ money. It is also Maryland’s largest retail garage-top canopy and provides the largest number of EV charging stations at one retail center.
The project was funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration under its “Parking Lot Solar PV Canopy with Electrical Vehicle Charger Grant Program.”
Thanks to Standard Solar the installation was seamless. The only surprise we encountered was a positive one–during final design we discovered an opportunity to include 16 additional panels based on the configuration of the garage, allowing us to increase the system’s capacity.