PATCO to install thousands of solar energy canopies

Mike DeNardo
February 12, 2019 - 5:24 pm
A rendering of PATCO's solar parking canopies

SunPower Corporation

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NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Imagine starting your commute in the rain or snow — but you get to park your car under a cover. 

Not only is your car protected from the elements, but the solar canopy above it is generating energy.  

That's PATCO's plan at its four largest stations: Lindenwold, Ashland, Woodcrest and Ferry Avenue. PATCO also plans to install solar parking canopies at the Delaware River Port Authority headquarters in Camden and some spots at the Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges — in all, about 10,000 spaces.  

DRPA chief engineer Mike Venuto said the agency has signed a 20-year purchase agreement with California-based SunPower Corporation.

"The solar developer is developing this project. They are designing, building, operating, maintaining and financing this project," he said. "Then we will buy power from that developer, just at a lower rate than what we currently pay for power now."

He said that should cut about $600,000 off of the DRPA's annual $4.3 million energy bill. SunPower has constructed similar solar parking canopies at the Campbell Soup Company headquarters in Camden.  

Venuto said construction should begin this summer, with completion set for October 2020.