SunWize Systems, which is the installation arm of solar technology developer SunWize Technologies, recently claimed the largest contract for a solar installation on a carport.
The 3.003-megawatt system is earmarked for the Department of Veteran Affairs at the Phoenix Medical Center in Phoenix. It is an extension of a 630-kilowatt system already under construction, and SunWize says the completed installation will be the largest carport rooftop solar photovoltaic installation in the United States. The system will be capable of generating more than 5.7 million kilowatt-hours of solar electricity annually, which is roughly the equivalent of the power necessary to power 600 homes.
The carport deal is just the latest of a string of projects that SunWize has contracted for the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Early this year, SunWize revealed that it had signed more than $7.8 million in other contracts for 10 different VA hospitals. Turns out the VA is a leader in solar deployments. David Kaltsas, president of SunWize Systems, says the VA has been aggressively deploying solar where it makes sense for more than three years. These systems aren't meant to take on the entire electricity-generation needs of the facilities they support; rather, they are helping offset costs, Kaltsas says. "We do a lot of work to analyze the correct size of a system for a certain site," he says.
Turns out that federal agency in particular have an interest in doing something, quickly, about their energy efficiency. They are under executive orders to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the end of 2015. The VA is on the vanguard of that mandate, according to SunWize.
Of course, the fate of solar installations once certain rebates expire remains up in the air. For now, the industry continues to be debate on those "stimulus" dollars to keep progressing.