Rutgers University is still a trailblazer in parking lot solar

Rutgers University is going to install 16 solar carports that total 14.5 megawatts (MW) in parking lots across its five campuses.

The new solar parking lot canopies are expected to generate 18 GWh of clean electricity annually.

Schenectady, New York-based DSD Renewables will design, build, own, operate, and maintain the solar canopies across campuses for a 15-year term, in a power purchase agreement with the university.

Construction is currently under way across several of the New Jersey university’s campus parking lots, and they’re expected to be complete in late 2023.

Solar parking lot canopies are great because they of course provide clean energy and also provide shade, cover from rain and snow, and reduce the urban heat island effect.

Rutgers is already a solar parking lot canopy pioneer: In 2013, it installed the largest renewable energy system ever built on a college campus in the US. The 32-acre solar-covered parking lot produces 8.8 MW of clean electricity – enough to power 60% of Rutgers’ Livingston Campus, where it’s onsite:

Kevin Brooks, senior director, Origination at DSD, said:

This is an exciting portfolio of projects that will provide Rutgers students across five campuses with access to renewable energy, and will ultimately bring the university closer to its sustainability goals while saving money on electricity.

Rutgers University has set a goal of achieving net zero by 2040.

Photos: DSD Renewables; CS Energy (Livingston Campus)

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