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A solar carport can generate about 10 Watts per square foot, on average. Usually a commercial solar energy system can eliminate a building’s annual energy consumption by between 5% and 30%. There is a wide range here because it greatly depends on the available area for a solar array and the energy use per square foot of the building.

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Solar Carports

Valuable parking lot shade while generating clean

solar energy.


First and foremost, solar carports provide valuable parking lot shade while generating clean energy for reduced utility costs. Solar carports can also significantly improve a parking area’s overall lighting. This is due to the fact that the lighting is now closer to the ground, with a reflective material located above the parking lot’s finished surface. When landscaping is incorporated around solar carports, your new energy generating facility can also become a wonderful addition to the property.


The requirements for installing a solar carport are pretty straightforward. In North America, carports are typically tilted ten degrees to the south or to the west. Nevertheless, there are many issues to take into account during the engineering of a solar carport project. Lighting, soil parameters for foundation design, and changes to disabled parking areas and landscaping are just a few examples of how a solar carport project can impact a parking lot’s design.


Geotechnical issues, such as soil load bearing pressures, are important to understand at any particular solar site. The soil’s ability to withstand vertical and lateral pressure are the key design parameters in determining the size of a structural footing. For solar carports or ground mounted solar arrays in seismic zones, the footing’s ability to withstand lateral loads is what determines the solar array’s ability to continue standing. At Blue Oak Energy, we have a very specific approach to designing footings and solar array structural systems.


Blue Oak Energy has engineered and constructed solar carports across diverse geographies, including hurricane wind zones and California seismic zones. Our client portfolio includes private corporations as well as federal governmental organizations such as the US Navy, the Marines and the USVA. We are skilled at both the engineering and permitting phases of complex solar projects. Please give us a call to discuss how we can help with your next solar carport project.


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