Company to Build Solar Panels on Parking Garage in Brattleboro

Utilizing already-existing structures to go solar is a wise idea – a town in Vermont is taking full advantage of this concept in a very creative way!


In , , a company plans to place solar panels over a . According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Solar was approved by the town Select Board to run a storage battery and microgrid system. The system will consist of a solar array over the Transportation Center (located between Eliot and Flat streets), and intends to utilize the power gathered by this parking garage.

The power gathered by this innovative -covered parking garage will be used, for instance, for charging vehicles when the electric grid is down. As with essentially any solar project, there will be cost savings for many, too.

The town of Brattleboro is going to have plenty of opportunity to purchase discounted net-metering credits as it is unable to sell or lease the space until the end of 2019, when the agreement expires. The credits can go toward power bills.

A feasibility study is going to be conducted for this solar project by Green Lantern. , Town Manager, stated that Green Lantern is going to cover the costs of the study and all permitting. The expectation is to keep all parking spaces, which is a plus and can ease the minds of anyone with concerns regarding the availability of parking.

The lease is going to have a term of two decades along with three succeeding five-year renewal options starting at the end of year number 20.

Benefits of a Solar Parking Garage

Green Lantern’s Director of Development in southern Vermont, Ralph Meima, approached Brattleboro’s Energy Committee regarding the project earlier this year. He brought awareness to the fact that there is the option for response benefits and emergency management during a grid outage along with educational benefits to this ground-breaking solar parking garage.

Recently, the town of Brattleboro signed up for solar net-metering credits through a project at the Windham Solid Waste Management District.

Lease payments, according to Meima’s approximations, could place roughly $1,200 each year into Brattleboro’s parking fund. At this point in time, it is unknown whether or not the solar array would be taxable. This is a small scale solar project but it will provide a good example of feasibility through development and meaningful research in an urban setting in Vermont, according to Town Manager Peter Elwell.

Elwell discussed how the town of Brattleboro would need confidence that the roof, covered in solar panels, would be able to support the array. The solar project owner would also need to have appropriate insurance in order to protect the utilization of the garage. Perhaps this solar project could end up benefitting low-income residents in the area with the net-metering credits, as an added bonus.

There are many potential perks to a solar panel-covered parking garage. For example, placing solar panels over the roof of a parking garage offers excellent usage of already-available space. The solar panels do not have to take up any additional space. Electric car charging stations (which are available to motorists driving electric vehicles) allow for the ability to use solar power to recharge. The installation of this type of solar energy system will help to lower electric bills, of course. Additionally, there will be protection against rising energy costs. Perhaps above all, the impact on the environment is reduced when we use clean energy.

Parking garages are such a prime opportunity for solar installations. Pavement makes up a great deal of surface area in cities, and much of this pavement is, unquestionably, parking lots. Efficiently using space by installing solar panels on an already-existing structure is a wonderful concept. No additional space needs to be utilized so the square footage being used does not need to change.

Clearly, there are many benefits to building solar panels on top of parking garages, so the town of Brattleboro certainly knows what it is doing. Have you seen the benefits of going solar in your location? How are you lessening your carbon footprint on the planet? There are small steps all of us can take on a daily basis, but it is wonderful to come together as a small town or even as a big city to make impactful changes together. Keep reading solar news to stay in the know – it is fun to read what is happening all across the planet!




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