Parking lot Solar Panels/Shade Structure

djDaemon's avatar

The air quality is highly variable geographically, and can and does change frequently, often varying between hazardous and not hazardous in the same day. And perhaps more importantly, whether or not it affects someone depends on their individual risk factors. Given all that, it would be financial malpractice to voluntarily close a park.


phillies2's avatar

How many spots would Cedar Point be willing to lose? They had these types of panels installed at lincoln financial field (Philly) for a while and while nice you do lose spots. I know Cedar Point usually doesn't fill up everyday and only a few times a year it overflows so I wonder how many spots they would be willing to give up to implement this.

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Jeff's avatar

Legoland Florida did not lose any spots. The panels are anchored to posts between the lanes. And that's where we have hurricanes.

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My former employer, the University of California San Diego has installed solar panels on just about every one of the parking structures. There was no loss of parking capacity. Those of you who are not familiar with this institution, it is a stones throw from the Pacific Ocean and just about every water fowl that is indigenous to the area. Yes they have to occasionally hose down the panels, but for the most part there is no significant effect upon their operation.

Last edited by Dutchman,

If bird crap is a major concern I know multiple companies make auto cleaning systems for large scale solar panel installments as well,

JohnMosesBrowning's avatar


I think birds live everywhere

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Integrating solar panels into parking lots as shade structures is a brilliant idea that resonates with me. The thought of having my car parked in the shade while generating clean energy is a testament to how far we can go with sustainable innovations. It not only addresses the discomfort of returning to an overheated car but also showcases a commitment to renewable energy sources. This approach is something I find extremely practical and beneficial, reflecting a positive step towards environmental stewardship and energy independence.

On a personal note, embracing energy efficiency extends into various aspects of my life, including home improvements. Adopting LED lighting, for instance, has been a significant move towards reducing my household's energy consumption and carbon footprint. For anyone looking to make similar environmentally friendly changes at home, exploring can provide valuable information and tips on leveraging LED technology for energy savings and sustainability.

Last edited by PointTaken87,

That would be neat, but not sure how they could implement it safely though.

Last edited by Jake10,

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Implemented safely in terms of what - electricity? parking? something else?

Owens-Corning Headquarters in Toledo uses solar panels for parking lot shade. The Toledo Zoo uses solar panels to shade the walkway in the parking lot. Both have used them for years.

That is what I am thinking. Nothing new here. While it would be different than pulling into the wide open parking lot that people are used to, there should not be any problems with it.

djDaemon's avatar

The only issue I see is the loss of parking capacity, given the panels would need supporting structure that would take up space. Right now, the only things taking up space are the relatively-sparse light poles and the tower.


Dvo's avatar

^And those darned seagulls.

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The support structure to support a solar panel takes up very little ground space.

djDaemon's avatar

Sure, but "very little" is not equal to zero. Some quick napkin math, taking a sample of CP's lot, and assuming each pair of rows has a 2 foot section designated for the supports, it's about a 5% reduction in parking lot real estate. It's not a ton, but it's also not negligible either, is all I'm saying. Obviously that limitation would only come into play a few weekends each year, but still, it's part of the equation.



Legoland Florida did not lose any spots.

It seems like there are ways to make it equal to zero.

djDaemon's avatar

I get that, I'm just not sure it's a valid comparison. A cursory glance at the before and after views of Legoland (Streetview and satellite, respectively) shows they somewhat substantially rearranged the parking lot for the install, and that may have played a part in maintaining the number of spaces. It's not clear to me that such a rearrangement is possible in Sandusky, given how dense CP's lot is already.

No matter how you cut it, those columns supporting the structure take up space, even as efficiently as Legoland did it.


jimmyburke's avatar

Wondering if those supports, as shown in the picture Dutchman posted, could serve a dual purpose. Perhaps they can serve in some way as charging stations for all these EV's that are all the rage. CP could even upcharge the parking rate for them.

Kevinj's avatar


No matter how you cut it, those columns supporting the structure take up space, even as efficiently as Legoland did it.

Just eyeballing it, though, the supports appear to be very close to the same width as the existing parking lot lines. There are no footers taking up extra area, and they are only taking up a tiny space of one corner of some spots. Unless I'm not thinking of something, I don't see how any spaces would get lost, especially if said supports were positioned to be directly in the intersection of where existing parking lot lines are drawn between spaces.

Last edited by Kevinj,

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I am trying to think of a non-solar comparison and all I can think of are light poles in a parking lot. Those usually do not reduce the amount of spaces. Is that a fair comparison to supports for solar?

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