The project was completed Aug. 22 by Standard Solar, a solar energy company that operates the 541.80-kilowatt solar system.
“The canopies were contracted through Standard Solar as a 20-year power purchase agreement with no outlay of cash from SU,”said Wayne Shelton, the university’s director of sustainability and environmental safety.
The agreement dictates that Standard Solar will own and maintain the equipment over a 20-year time span before SU retains full ownership, according to Shelton.
The canopies feature a remote monitoring system, allowing Standard Solar to check operations remotely with alerts of any issues.
SU student MacKenzie Peperak expressed interest in the project.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s cool to see the university implement steps toward a more sustainable future,” she said.
Faculty and staff are already enjoying the benefit of parking beneath the panels, according to Shelton.
“The lot is one of the first to fill up in the mornings, but that was not the case in the past,” he said.
The new canopies also feature five electric-vehicle charging stations. The chargers may be used without cost, serving as an incentive for driving efficient vehicles.
Salisbury University created a website which people can view to track solar energy production of the system. Shelton said performance data will be streaming to that web page.