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Solar power carport charges cars in Connecticut

GE unveils an innovative solar carport with EV charging stations in Plainville, Conn.

The solar power carport introduced by GE today. GE

An innovative concept for the carport of the future was unveiled in Plainville, Conn., this morning.

Conn. Governor Dannel Malloy and GE Energy Industrial Solutions CEO Luis Ramírez unveiled the GE EV Solar Carport, a carport that incorporates solar panels on its roof with electric vehicle charging stations under its cover.

GE partnered with Inovateus Solar, which installed the solar carport.

The solar panels on the carport will produce enough electricity per year to power the equivalent of 20 homes. Not every space in the lot will have an EV station. The solar panels on the carport will be able to support all the electricity needed to run the carport's overhead lighting, as well as six Level 2 GE Charging Stations that, together, are capable of charging about 13 EVs per day.

The carport is also connected to the grid, enabling it to both feed any excess power it generates into the grid, as well as draw power from the grid if needed.

"The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kW hours per year. With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 MW hours via 100 kW DC power," GE said in a statement.

"This exciting project will be a blueprint for people all around the country who are interested in developing this type of green solar charging technology, linking renewable energy with electric vehicles and making our lives cleaner and greener. I'm excited to witness the future of this project, and I'm energized about the innovative projects GE is undertaking in our state," Governor Malloy said in a statement.

Connecticut is not the first state to try the solar carport route as a way of augmenting its clean-energy sources. In February, the William G. Mennen Sports Arena in N.J. completed an overhaul in which it added 1.6 megawatts' worth of solar panels, some of which were installed as a solar carport covering Mennen Arena's 500-space parking lot.