The dedication for the project took place on May 26, 2011 with CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions, Luis Ramirez, joined by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, along with GE and Inovateus Solar contractors and employees, to unveil the GE Electric Vehicle (EV) Solar Carport in Plainville, Connecticut.
"The GE EV Solar Carport Project is an opportunity to deliver a truly sustainable electric vehicle charging solution," says Paul Singer, general manager industrial technology, GE Energy Industrial Solutions. "Joining forces with Inovateus Solar on the EV Solar Carport helped us deliver one of the largest carports in North America, and we were glad to have both their insight and their dedicated staff on hand throughout the construction process."
GE uses solar energy and smart grid technology to fully charge up to 13 electric vehicles per day via six Level 2 GE EV Charging Stations. The solar panels on the 216-foot by 40-foot, 40-stall carport will also power all the lighting in the parking lot to offset an additional $10,000 in energy costs each year.
The GE EV Solar Carport produces the energy equivalent to power 20 homes per year. The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kW hours per year. With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 MW hours via 100 kW DC power.
"Our objective with this project is to utilize a mix of installation formats to create a practical on-site ‘lab’ to illustrate a range of design options when creating this type of solar system," says TJ Kanczuzewski, president of Inovateus Solar LLC. "We are excited to collaborate with GE on this important alternative energy development and education project and look forward to other future projects."
The carport incorporates GE’s infrastructure technology, utilizing GE EverGold™ Safety Switches and GE Combiner Boxes along with the GE EV Charging Stations. GE’s core AC equipment safely distributes the power generated from the solar panels. The GE EV Solar Carport connects to the grid, where it deposits extra energy and withdraws that energy when needed.
Key Inovateus supplier/partners included Schott Solar for the PV panels and Satcon for the two 100 kW inverters. Inovateus subcontracted the electrical work to Power Systems Electrical Contractors in Farmington, Connecticut.
As the general contractor, Inovateus hired Solaire Generation of New York to install a custom version of its Premium Solar Parking Power Plant. The cantilevered roof design protects vehicles and people from the elements while preventing unwanted access to PV panels and electrical systems–including six charging stations. The canopy design also captures and redirects rainwater and snowmelt with its unique decking, gutter and drain system.