The newest trend in alternative energy is solar power carports to power office buildings, apartment complexes and even individual houses. The solution of building solar carports is not a new one and the structures are sprouting up all over the Southwest.
Local governments in the Southwest are embracing the newest use of solar power as aesthetically pleasant to the eye and a way to keep their vehicles out of the harsh Southwest sun. The carport idea has been used in several areas in Las Vegas already and is currently being implemented at the Clark County Government building near downtown Las Vegas.
Photovoltaics Credits and Government Grants Being Issued Across Country
Photovoltaics is the name used to describe the conversion of solar power converted into direct current electricity. As the next few years progress the name will become a part of the Amercian fabric as many government buildings and business complexes begin to do the right thing and convert to solar energy to supply direct electric power to their buildings.
The government grants are being offered by local governments in an effort to remove as many buildings off the main power grid as possible. The issue of solar energy is quickly grabbing hold across the United States as gas prices at the pump climb and OPEC tightens it’s hold on the world oil market.
The Southwest has been offering government grants for localized solar power for years but now the Southeast is beginning to come around to the idea as well. The government grants do not just pertain to business. Many local and state governments are bestowing grants and credits on homeowners that are committed to converting their homes to solar power.
Solar Power Carports Can Have Immediate Effect on Driving Solar Panel Prices Down
In Nevada and California many companies are taking advantage of the grants and credits by creating a 100% sustainable business environment. Through LEED building projects and LEED remodel projects many businesses are seeing the value of converting to solar power at this time.
The most recent example of carports being utilized for localized solar power generation is the Stupak Community Center in Las Vegas. At the unveiling for the project Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was excited with his cities plans to create a 100% sustainable city.
“This is a big deal,” Mayor Goodman those assembled for the unveiling, “because Las Vegas is just ideally suited, because of our climate, where the sun shines virtually every single day.”
The Stupak Community Center’s will provide 250,000 kilowatt-hours of power and will save the government $28,000 annually. Top this off with a rebate check provided by NV Energy in the amount of $414,250. NV Energy has been aggressive with their promotion of not only individualized solar energy projects but they are also building massive solar generation plants in the Mojave desert.
TWC Construction Uses Office Building As Example of Commercial Solar Power
TWC Construction in neighboring Henderson, Nevada, is a shining example of how a commercial building can not only supply all of it’s own energy but also sell electricity back to the grid. TWC Construction built a massive solar panel installation in their back parking lot that doubles as the company carport.
At the time it was built in 2004 it was a revolutionary idea in the Las Vegas area and now it is a working example of how the entire Las Vegas area can remove itself from the national power grid. The TWC solar carport installation will save 30,215 barrels of crude oil through the 25-year life cycle of the installation.
Other Possible Uses & Ideas in Las Vegas & Los Angeles for Solar Carport Systems
There is no reason why a deal can not be struck with the Las Vegas Strip hotels to install solar carports on the rooftop garages. Each Las Vegas Strip hotel can install a solar carport on the top floor of their garage and they would be able to power the entire casino.
Other hotels with large parking lots can also construct large carport structures. The Rio has a massive back lot that could power half the Las Vegas Strip. The solution is there for Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip to be at the forefront of the solar power era.
Downtown Los Angeles is also a perfect area to localize solar power. The many rooftops in the downtown area could be utilized to supply solar power to the individual buildings. The Downtown Los Angeles area is also a small area that can become 100% sustainable before the year 2015.
The reasoning behind using these two high profile areas to begin the next phase of the solar energy revolution is clear. The two projects will create mass production of the solar technology and it will drive the price down on the products involved. This will also create thousands of jobs in the United States with all products required to be US manufactured. A win-win situation for all involved.