Like a modern day clean tech Johnny Applesead, Envision Solar is turning barren parking lots into "Solar Groves" with lush "Solar Trees." Ok, while that metaphor might be a little ineffective, these installations are far from it. The Solar Grove is a highly customizable and efficient system of photovoltaic solar canopies. A Solar Grove installation allows a company to take a parkinglot that is normally an eye sore and a burden on the environment, and use it to harness energy, mitigate the polluting nature of a parking lot and provide an interesting asthetic.
Here are a few features/characteristics that set the Solar Grove apart from many more conventional solar installations.
- The single column support design allows it to be placed almost anywhere, and positioned in anyway to achieve the maximum benefit.
- The Solar Trees are outfitted as Electric Vehicle charging stations so you can power up your EV on clean sun light for your ride home.
- They are outfitted with light fixtures that shine up at the canopies after sundown, illuminating the parking lot at night.
- The panels can be made translucent to allow dappled sunlight to pass through to the ground — a bit like leaves on a real tree would allow.
- The Solar Trees are outfitted with bioswales at the base and the tilted canopies serve to route rainwater into the swales, which then filter out polutants as the water is drained, reducing run-off pollutions.
They currently have Solar Groves installed at UC San Diego, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, on top of a municipal parking garage in Napa, CA, at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, CA, and at the Kyocera U.S. Headquarters, San Diego, CA.
For more information check out their website at EnvisionSolar.com.