There are many things in the cleantech world that are inspiring and fun, but there’s perhaps nothing that quickly inspires more joy than seeing solar-powered carports that power numerous electric vehicles, essentially allowing them to drive on sunshine. A new project in China offers that option, and it’s also a first for the company JinkoSolar. JinkoSolar, which may now be the world’s largest solar module manufacturer, has revealed that the first solar PV carport project using JinkoSolar’s BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaic) products has been connected to the electricity grid in China.
“As a benchmark demonstration project for the commercialization of BIPV products, this photovoltaic carport will meet the needs of nearly 40 electric vehicles, and the annual power generation capacity can exceed 150,000 kWh.”
That’s right — one solar carport and it can power 40 electric vehicles. The project uses JinkoSolar’s high-efficiency BIPV products to replace the traditional roof of the carport. Just 1,000 of these carports could power 40,000 electric vehicles with sunshine.
“The combination of charging piles and renewable energy electric vehicles will give the carport the double function of vehicle parking and charging. It also increases the effectiveness of land use as well as promotes energy conservation and emission reduction,” JinkoSolar rightly notes.
Surprisingly, you don’t see a lot of news about solar carports. Offering the dual benefit of shade for cars and cheap, clean electricity, it seems that solar carports should be popping up everywhere (especially in The Sunshine State, where I live and yet have not seen a single solar carport let alone a solar carport packed with EV charging stations. Perhaps this new commercial product from hyper-competitive JinkoSolar will help open up this market further.
Further, I wrote several months ago about Tesla offering record-low-cost rooftop solar power, and also collected some words from Tesla CEO Elon Musk about how it is that Tesla can offer such low rooftop solar prices. Back in the day, SolarCity (which Tesla acquired) offered solar carports. I don’t see this as a product to select on Tesla’s website, and it would be great to see that return with Tesla’s low solar costs — perhaps even using JinkoSolar modules if they turned out to be the best option.
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