Las Vegas to place solar panels on carports
The city's $11 million project will provide shade for cars and power for buildings.
Las Vegas spotlighted an $11 million plan to put solar panels on top of carports at city buildings, which will be funded mostly by federal stimulus money. The plan is projected to cut the city's electrical costs by $300,000/year when fully in place, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal .
Eventually, solar panels at city buildings will generate electricity equivalent to the needs of 170 homes. City estimates show the city's investment will be recouped in about 15 years, while solar panels have a life expectancy of between 25 and 40 years. The panels will provide 10% to 30% of a building's power, depending on the building's power usage and the size of the solar panel array.
"Carports are a feature of southern climates, and you're integrating a power source with them," said Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. CoolerPlanet reported that the panels also provide covered parking, and they, along with solar installations at the wastewater treatment plant, will move the city to 10% of renewable power by 2011.