Pike & Rose is a mixed use “neighborhood” in North Bethesda, Maryland (US), with over 430,000 square feet of retail space, 1,500 new residences, 1.1 million square feet of office space, a theatre complex and a luxurious hotel. Owned and operated by Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), the company recently unveiled its new 265kW solar canopy system on top of a 7-level, 566 parking retail-parking garage. Federal Realty (FRIT) specializes in this type of mixed use development, and the company sees solar as an important asset. According to Jay Corbalis, Development Associate at FRIT, “Incorporating solar PV garage canopies and electric vehicle charging at Pike & Rose is a visible and beneficial part of the overall sustainability methods used in building this community."
Project design and funding
This is the tenth solar installation that FRIT has installed on properties it owns and operates. Standard Solar’s project development, engineering and construction teams worked closely with the FRIT design teams from the early design stages of the garage project to ensure the design was cleanly integrated with the garage structure. The project, including the solar canopy and the electric vehicle charging stations, was funded in part through a Parking Lot Solar Photovoltaic Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program grant from the Maryland Energy Administration.
Corbalis noted that FRIT is pleased of the results of the partnership with Standard Solar and the Maryland Energy Administration:“It combines the benefits of power to operate the garage with the ability for EV drivers to charge their vehicles with clean, renewable energy, produced onsite.”
The structure, which is designed to power about 30% of the garage load as well as provide multiple electric vehicle charging stations, includes 855 solar panels from Canadian Solar, 9 Solectria inverters, and 4 EV chargers provided by NRG EVgo network. Standard Solar managed the canopy design, structural engineering and construction. The installation took about four months to complete, with interconnection approval received on 2 November 2015 and ribbon cutting on 12 November.
The installation was “seamless,” Corbalis noted, adding that the only surprise was a good one— “during final design we discovered an opportunity to include 16 additional panels based on the configuration of the garage, allowing us to increase the system’s capacity.”
Written by Anne Fischer, Managing Editor, Solar Novus Today
Photo credit: Kaz Sasahara