Offering Solar Carports: Self-Storage Operators Fill a Niche While Generating Eco-Revenue

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PV-solar carport systems can also be a revenue generator for some operators. There are several areas of the country where businesses that produce more energy than they use can sell the power back to the electric company so it can be used as energy for other businesses. 

Financial Incentives

In states where solar is a much sought-after source of energy, such as Florida, the government offers hefty tax incentives to businesses investing in solar equipment. Grants, cash rebates and other enticements are also available from a variety of sources, including utility companies, to help offset the costs of PV systems.

Currently, the federal solar tax credit for commercial buildings is 30 percent for an eligible property. Net metering is also available in some states. Operators can use surplus energy from the spring to pay for extra power needed in the summer, for example.
 
Do Your Homework

If you’re considering adding a solar carport to your self-storage facility, you should first study what you’ll need to make a solar project work, structurally and financially. You should also understand the effect of site location and panel configuration, and how energy costs relate to a facility’s success.

Contact a qualified company that can coordinate the solar panel and canopy installation. A solar and construction professional will perform a site evaluation that allows the design and engineer team to determine the best placement and slope for the panels, which will ensure your facility achieves the greatest success.
 
To learn more about specific state and federal incentives, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy at www.dsireusa.org.
 
Robin Heuer is chief operating officer, chief learning officer and a board member of iParkSolar, a developer of solar-integrated carports, RV/boat storage and integrated electrical-vehicle charging stations. For more information, e-mail solar@bajacarports.com.

Related Articles:

Saving Money With Solar Energy: Understanding the Technology and Economic Benefits for Self-Storage

Solar Carports: A New Trend in Boat/RV-Storage Construction

Using Solar Power for Alternative Energy in Self-Storage

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