As you can see above and below, Envision Solar plans to make parking lots into beautiful power plants with their Solar Groves and Solar Trees. Envision Solar takes the hassle out of designing structures for solar with their turn-key solutions. Although the company is working on a next generation design for the Solar Tree, the current iteration includes 64 Kyocera solar modules laid out in total measuring 30' x 40'. The panels sit at a five degree angle and provide shading for six vehicles, too. Envision Solar has found success installing these parking canopies near commercial buildings and retail parking lots because the energy can be sold to businesses through power purchase agreements.
What's interesting, though, is what our country would be like with Solar Groves all over the place. With plug-in electric vehicles and plug-in slots near Solar Trees, parking lots could be the transportation energy stations of the future. Electric vehicles wouldn't be nearly as bad as they are right now if they're getting the bulk of their power from renewable sources.
As far as costs are concerned, Envision Solar seems to be aggressive in their pursuit of good deals. Depending on site conditions, the company says a good Solar Grove could pay for itself in five years. That's quite good — so I expect we'll hear a lot more from Envision Solar going forward.
[+] Learn more about Envision Solar's products.
Photo credits: Envision Solar.