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Average Cost of a Solar Carport (Commercial)

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  • Average Cost of a Solar Carport (Commercial)

    Hi all,

    Thank you for reading. One question here:

    What is the average price range for a commercial solar carport? (system size: 300kW-DC) At cost. No markup. Just the structure itself... no labor.

    From what I read online, it seems to be around $0.80/W-DC to $1.50/W-DC, but I'd like to hear from anyone with experience. I'd appreciate any info. Thank you!


    Kind Regards,
    Andy

  • #2
    Originally posted by atkelly View Post
    What is the average price range for a commercial solar carport? (system size: 300kW-DC)
    At cost. No markup. Just the structure itself... no labor. Andy
    A 300 KW port would be big enough to cover a 747, at least 1000 panels. Bruce Roe

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bcroe View Post

      A 300 KW port would be big enough to cover a 747, at least 1000 panels. Bruce Roe
      Not only that, but the wind design would cost a lot as well. Maybe Dan K. could talk them into some of those dumb-ass bifacial panels.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would think that if a solar array is smaller than 1MW the costs are still in the $2/watt or more area. And as previously mentioned a ground mount is more costly then a roof top due to the structure and extra distance between the array and grid connection.

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        • #5
          The cost of commercial car ports vary greatly depending on the application. Everyone is virtually a custom design.

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          • #6
            Our school district is installing carport/solar canopies on 6 sites (schools) with total output of 1.3MW for a total cost of $6.8mil, assuming for simplicity each site is the same it is 217KW/$1,133,000 or $5.22 per installed watt per site. Doesn't it sound too high? It all comes out of our pockets via school bonds and we'd rather see these money to be spent on our children's education than on overpriced panels, so kinda pissed.
            Last edited by gvl; 02-08-2017, 02:53 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gvl View Post
              Our school district is installing carport/solar canopies on 6 sites (schools) with total output of 1.3MW for a total cost of $6.8mil, assuming for simplicity each site is the same it is 217KW/$1,133,000 or $5.22 per installed watt per site. Doesn't it sound too high? It all comes out of our pockets via school bonds and we'd rather see these money to be spent on our children's education than on overpriced panels, so kinda pissed.
              While I'm of the opinion that carports erected for the bogus purpose of providing solar generated electricity that can be POCO purchased for what's perhaps and probably a lot less are more of a gimmick used to prey on the solar ignorant, some of that $ 6.8 million is assignable to providing the carport's more conventional advantages, whatever they may be. Anyone ask what the cost of non solar carports might be ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                While I'm of the opinion that carports erected for the bogus purpose of providing solar generated electricity that can be POCO purchased for what's perhaps and probably a lot less are more of a gimmick used to prey on the solar ignorant, some of that $ 6.8 million is assignable to providing the carport's more conventional advantages, whatever they may be. Anyone ask what the cost of non solar carports might be ?
                Usually a solar pv system installed at a school has been funded almost entirely by the POCO, some other 3rd party or state government. Having a school district fund it is kind of crazy especially when it cost $5/watt which would take decades to pay for itself. Maybe the carport frame and structure caused the price to balloon.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                  While I'm of the opinion that carports erected for the bogus purpose of providing solar generated electricity that can be POCO purchased for what's perhaps and probably a lot less are more of a gimmick used to prey on the solar ignorant, some of that $ 6.8 million is assignable to providing the carport's more conventional advantages, whatever they may be. Anyone ask what the cost of non solar carports might be ?
                  Car ports are common in southern California and surrounding areas as a way to shade the cars. A car in the sun can reach 150 degrees, while in the shade it will be at or below 100 degrees. This reduces the AC load on the cars, and protects the interiors from UV damage.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                    While I'm of the opinion that carports erected for the bogus purpose of providing solar generated electricity that can be POCO purchased for what's perhaps and probably a lot less are more of a gimmick used to prey on the solar ignorant, some of that $ 6.8 million is assignable to providing the carport's more conventional advantages, whatever they may be. Anyone ask what the cost of non solar carports might be ?
                    Not all sites will be carports, some will be shade structures in areas where kids play so their installation is not entirely useless in SoCal. Roof-mount seems like a no-option for arrays of this size. To be fair a cost differential between a ground-mount and carport-moint is probably not that much in the grand scheme of things but paying that much for solar that may never pay off is. I'm all for solar and being green, but in this particular case it seems like waste of money.


                    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                    Usually a solar pv system installed at a school has been funded almost entirely by the POCO, some other 3rd party or state government. Having a school district fund it is kind of crazy especially when it cost $5/watt which would take decades to pay for itself. Maybe the carport frame and structure caused the price to balloon.
                    We are in the SCE territory, I doubt they contribute much. $5/watt makes no sense to me. Invest this money into a safe fund and you'll probably come out ahead but there are probably limitations on what schools can do with money. The school district has the luxury of having tax bond money to spend on this kind of stupidity, approved by local homeowners most of who are indeed solar ignorant. They are probably looking at these arrays to be come profitable to be close to their end of life. I wouldn't be surprised if there are kickbacks involved. How one can inspect if this deal is clean?
                    Last edited by gvl; 02-08-2017, 05:33 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by emartin00 View Post

                      Car ports are common in southern California and surrounding areas as a way to shade the cars. A car in the sun can reach 150 degrees, while in the shade it will be at or below 100 degrees. This reduces the AC load on the cars, and protects the interiors from UV damage.
                      I've always known about car temps. in the sun from living in cold climates and getting into a car sitting in the sun ( when it shined). I really found out however, from working in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) for several years at a place w/out covered parking and 10 hr. shifts without covered parking.

                      Added vehicle A/C load in not much. For me, the biggest hassle was the first 5+ min. on startup so I'd run w/ windows down for a mile or so. It's on most of the time in the summer anyway.

                      The vehicle glass blocks most (but not all) of the UV and the opaque vehicle surfaces block all irradiation. Garages work better.

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                      • #12
                        The price of a solar carport depends on a few factors. First, snow and wind loads. Second, standard or custom. Third, parking configuration (two deep parking or single stall rows).
                        There are other minor factors, but those are the main drivers.

                        For the North East USA, you can get the base carport structure (not including foundations or options), standard design, typical 30-40psf snow, non-coastal winds, two deep parking for under 50 cents per watt (based on a decent module wattage). If you go single stalls, the price goes up into the 70s. If you have heavier snow or winds it will also increase.

                        Your foundations are your other major cost. To avoid getting in the way of parking space, these foundations need to be designed for each project.

                        xxxxxxxxx has a system designed for snow loads. Removed website

                        Vehicle shade in the summer, vehicle protection from snow and ice in the winter, diverting water from the sewage system, being able to throw your groceries in the car without soaking your trunk space, eliminating a lot of the heat island affect, etc are all harder to put value on but exist. There is also no land cost as there would be with a farm, its already there, unused, and now multi purpose. And typically a parking lot is next to a big building that uses a lot of power, that now has to travel a couple hundred feet and not a hundred miles (just like good ole regular rooftop).

                        MOD Note. Please do not advertise solar equipment without first getting permission from the Admin Solar Pete.
                        Last edited by SunEagle; 02-15-2018, 11:04 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Also, total, if done properly, there is no reason a carport should exceed $3/w DC unless they are putting a ton of bells and whistles, was designed by an architect, and also has coupled battery storage. That $5/w discussed earlier is ridiculous.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Skyport View Post
                            Also, total, if done properly, there is no reason a carport should exceed $3/w DC unless they are putting a ton of bells and whistles, was designed by an architect, and also has coupled battery storage. That $5/w discussed earlier is ridiculous.
                            It's probably likely that I could get a PV system designed and installed on an existing carport roof for < $3.00/ STC W, but I doubt I could get a decent/fit for purpose and large enough carport for say, a 5 STC kW system designed, permitted and erected for $3.00 /ft^2.

                            Hell, I couldn't get the engineering done for that price.

                            At $3.00/ft^2, that would be ~ 300ft.^2 *$3.00 = $ 900 installed for a 300 ft'^2 carport. Da' ya' think ? NOT.

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                            • #15
                              Others commented about where it will go. Ground snow loads, soil conditions and wind loading impacts the design significantly. Drainage a is big issue in winter. I saw one popular design that has snow clips on it to reduce snow slides, they equipped it with gutters that appeared to be a flat slope running to common near horizontal leader to a vertical downspout. Might be fine for non freezing climates but a recipe for freezing issues.

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