At Chicago’s Solar Power International on Tuesday, NRG Energy announced the introduction of their freestanding NRG Solar Canopy, a product that will be available through their subsidiary NRG Solar, a freestanding solar array that comes in a variety of sizes and is capable of generating from 2.44 kW to 7.32kW of power, depending on location.
The Solar Canopy is capable of generating solar energy on and off the grid, in all manner of conditions and situations, from use as a carport to emergency shelter and energy generation after a disaster.
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, NRG began to take a more urgent look at providing a solution that could meet basic power needs in the event of a grid emergency,” said Tom Doyle, president and CEO of NRG Solar. “We believe in bringing renewable energy solutions—like the NRG Solar Canopy—to customers in new and innovative ways that extend beyond the rooftop so customers are not limited in their approach to energy independence.”
The Solar Canopy will come in four models:
- Solar Canopy Mini: dimensions are 15 feet x 14 feet; 2,440W
- Solar Canopy Model 1: dimensions are 7.5 feet x 27 feet; 2,440W
- Solar Canopy Model 2: dimensions are 15 feet x 27 feet; 4,880W
- Solar Canopy Model 3: dimensions are 22.5 feet x 27 feet; 7,320W
“We designed the solar canopy to complement a full-scale solar installation, incorporating rooftop, ground mount or parking pavilion solutions,” NRG Solar noted on their website. “The functionality of your solar canopy is up to you, as it can be configured to be bi-modal, grid-tied or off-grid.”
Unsurprisingly, an idea this functional and green is a hit with customers. “Upon testing the idea with customers, we found that there also existed a strong demand for a solar power generating solution that would complement their architectural environment and make a statement for their brand,” said Doyle.
Extending the sample-size beyond that of the company’s CEO, however, there are more who are already incorporating Solar Canopy’s into their sites. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, through a partnership with NRG, is deploying solar canopies at selected hotels and resorts (as well as rooftop and ground mounted solar installations).
“At Starwood, we are making every effort to reduce our energy consumption and work toward our company’s sustainability goals,” said Andrea Pinabell, director of sustainability, global citizenship at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “Partnering with NRG to install solar canopies in a variety of customized configurations not only help us offset our electricity costs and reduce the company’s carbon footprint but also adds a design element to our properties which can add to the guest experience.”
NRG have also created a few images, like the one above, which highlight just how many places these Solar Canopy’s could be installed — from at home to outside the front of your lavish Ivy League university (by the looks of it).
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