5 Top Benefits to Solar Carports For Your Company

Sabrina Lopez
January 4, 2023
3 min read

Most organizations looking to go solar think of a traditional rooftop array as the best option. While there are many benefits to having your commercial solar panels on the roof, there's an even stronger argument to be made for opting into solar carports instead.

Want a little extra shade for your guests and employees? Solar carports. Want the option for more panels than your roof can hold? Solar carports. Solar tax credits can sometimes even help offset these structures' costs. Read on to learn more about this increasingly popular alternative for commercial solar applications. 

Sometimes referred to as solar canopies, these structures offer the same clean energy-producing benefits as a rooftop solar array but with the added benefit of providing coveted shade. In Arizona, you probably know firsthand how painful those interior surfaces can be when your car sits directly under our formidable sunshine throughout the day. Some solar carports even integrate car chargers so EV owners can easily fill up while working and driving with Arizona's clean and most abundant natural resource in the tank.


What is a Solar Carport or Canopy?

First of all, we need to define what we're talking about. Solar carports and canopies are shade structures made with solar panels. They can cover just a few parking spaces - or, more commonly - entire parking lots. In both scenarios, solar carport owners reap the benefits of clean solar energy while providing coveted shade and vehicle protection.

But beyond shaded relief, there are many other benefits your organization can look forward to when installing a solar carport. Let's take a look at a few more. 


1. Maximize the Use of Parking Lot Space

Although parking lots have inherent value in providing a place for your employees and visitors to park, installing solar carports maximizes the efficiency of these spaces by allowing them to serve double duty as your energy factory. This can be especially useful if the roof of your building isn't suitable for a solar installation or if you don't want to use additional land for a traditional ground mounted system. Turning your parking lot into an energy-producing asset will significantly reduce operating expenses and improve your organization's bottom line.


2. Provide Shade to Employees and Visitors Alike

On an average 110-degree Arizona summer day, most car interiors will approach 160 degrees. Surfaces such as shifters and steering wheels will be even hotter. With solar carports, your employees and visitors won't have to worry about burning their hands or waiting for their car to cool down. While this might seem a small benefit, daily and weekly visitors will surely be thankful.  


3. Exemplify Your Commitment to Sustainability

Another great benefit of solar carports is how visible they are compared to a rooftop solar array. Many organizations that choose a rooftop solar array have difficulty showcasing a clear commitment to sustainability. With a solar carport, the actions your organization is taking to be more environmentally friendly are easily on display for all to see.


4. Add EV Charging and Drive On Sunshine

Another benefit to solar carports is that they can be easily outfitted with electric vehicle charging stations. EVs are increasing in popularity every year. By adding EV chargers to your solar carport, you're not only demonstrating your commitment to sustainability, but you're also more welcoming to those who currently drive an electric vehicle. You'll also be future-proofing your business by getting ahead of the EV curve.


5. Add to Your Bottom Line

When you’re producing your own clean, affordable energy with solar panels, that’s money saved by not buying electricity from a monopoly utility. By reducing your reliance on utility power, you lock in predictable energy costs for decades while shielding your business from annual rate increases. You also free up money that can be used to grow other areas of your organization. 

Saving by installing a solar carport is only better when you claim the 30% solar tax credit. The 30% tax credit can also be applied to the structure's cost and the solar panels, making your parking shade both affordable and lucrative. There's never been a better time to claim these limited-time commercial solar incentives.

If you're interested in solarwhether that's a solar carport or a traditional rooftop solar arraywe can help. With over 17 years of experience, Sun Valley Solar Solutions has designed some of the largest commercial solar systems in the southwest. Click the button below to request a free commercial solar consultation.