Qatar is poised to benefit from solar car-parking canopies, an innovative concept from Chevron Qatar, an affiliate of global energy giant Chevron Corporation, and GreenGulf, a Qatari renewable energy company.
A solar parking project will be established at the upcoming Solar Test Facility, a Chevron Qatar-GreenGulf initiative at Qatar Science & Technology Park where the organisations are based.
“We have several commercial proposals also with regard to solar parking,” GreenGulf’s CEO Omran al-Kuwari told Gulf Times in an interview.
Chevron Energy Solutions has built hundreds of solar parking lots in California over the past decade, Chevron Qatar president Carl A Atallah pointed out. Solar parking is a simple and cost-effective way of utilising solar energy, since car-parking shades need to be built anyway, adopting the solar parking concept provides lighting at night and offsets electricity use of adjacent buildings. Solar parking is easier to plan and install than solar panel arrays on roof tops or on the ground. Atallah cited that in California, facilities including schools, universities, government buildings and post offices have embraced solar parking. “They save money very quickly by using a lot less electricity from the grid. The project pays off within three to four years.”
Chevron Qatar is keen to try and develop, among its other activities, a business model locally for solar parking given that the country is progressing towards solar utilisation. “This is the easiest thing, the low-hanging fruit, and it is a great utilisation of space and function,” the official said. A typical solar parking design has solar panels instead of the conventional roof. Tailored T-shaped columns support the “solar roof”. LED lighting can reduce energy consumption further.
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