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Solar carports popping up on college campuses

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This solar carport at Long Beach College in California boasts more than 2,000 solar panels.

Solar carports are continuing to pop up at an increasingly rapid rate all over America with universities and colleges and schools among the most popular places to site carports.

Here’s a brief rundown on a couple of university and college based solar carports that have gone online recently or whose future construction has been recently confirmed.

Long Beach City College. Construction was recently completed on a 900-plus space parking structure, which spans five levels and more than 295,000 square feet just off the southwest corner of Carson Street and Clark Avenue. A large solar carport with 2,100 solar panels sits atop the garage’s fifth level. The solar installation is the second largest in Long Beach, trailing only the Long Beach Convention Center. The solar PV system can generate 406.585 kilowatts, or about 700,000 kWh annually, roughly enough to power 100 American homes for a year.

Rutgers University. Approximately 40,000 solar panels will be installed on canopies over two parking lots on the Rutgers University Livingston Campus. The solar canopies will be built over 32 acres of pavement. A smaller 7-acre solar canopy system installed on the campus in 2009 generates 1.4 megawatts — about 11 percent of the campus's electrical demand. Once the new 8-megawatt system is in place, the two installations will be able to produce more than 60 percent of the campus's power. Additionally, according to MyCentralNewJersey.Com, the Sierra Club is working toward the installation of EV charging stations to complement the solar canopies and provide on-campus generated sun-electricity for electric cars.

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