Skip to main content

Solar Canopy Installations Bring Buncombe County Closer to Renewable Energy Goal

With the recent installation of solar panels at two Buncombe County parking decks in downtown Asheville, the County is following through on its commitment to bring renewable energy to its operations and community. 

In the past few weeks, you may have seen giant cranes downtown, which were there to help install identical solar canopies on the top floor of the College Street Parking Deck, next to the Buncombe County Courthouse, and the Sears Alley Parking Deck, next to the Health and Human Services building.  

These canopies are a key part of the county’s 100% Renewable Energy Plan, which seeks to reach 100% renewable energy for county operations by 2030. 

“One of the pillars of the County’s Strategic Plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Jeremiah Leroy, Office of Sustainability Director for the County. “There are a number of ways to try and tackle that goal and one of the most prevalent is through the incorporation of renewable energy generating assets, such as solar, that offset energy consumption from the grid.”  

MB Haynes was the primary contractor for the project in collaboration with Quest Renewables, which designed the canopy system. 

The parking decks were chosen both for their accessibility but also for their visibility. 

“When we were exploring the viable site for solar installation the canopy systems on the parking garages presented an opportunity to not only offset some of our energy consumption with renewables, but to showcase our efforts in a unique and highly visible way,” Jeremiah said. 

The canopies allow complete use of the top of the deck for parking, while still producing energy.  

Ronnie Lunsford, General Services Project Manager, said the canopies are rated 242.55 KW-DC and 183.3 KW-AC for their power production. For reference, the average American home uses about 1.214 KW-AC per hour per day, equating to about 30 KWh per day.

The systems are net-metered so the County receives a credit for the energy that is generated. That is then subtracted from the usage at County locations, Lunsford said. 

The parking deck installations were selected along with 37 other sites in the first phase of the County’s solar endeavor, bringing the County closer to its 100% Renewable Energy goal. 

“Once all of our renewable assets are up and running we will be at approximately 40% of that goal,” Jeremiah said. “That type of progress makes Buncombe County a leader in this space and it’s something we’re very proud of.”

In addition to solar, the County is in the process of designing its first-ever battery storage projects.  

“Coupled with solar, these energy storage projects will further enhance our renewable efforts by keeping more solar energy on-site and help the reduce utility demand charges,” Jeremiah said.

Filter News:

Translate Options

Article Information

Updated Apr 19, 2024 02:46 PM
Published Apr 18, 2024 08:30 AM

Previous Article: Adult Mental Health Series at the Library with Vaya Health
Next Article: Buncombe County Embraces Innovation, Transitions Non-Emergency Calls to Machine Learning