May 17, 2015

Solar Carports at Catholic University

Location: The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20064, USA
Solar Carport at CUA
Carport with O'Boyle Hall in the background
On May 13, John Finnerty at Standard Solar gave me a tour of the O’Boyle Hall Carports at Catholic University (CUA). We've seen stuff like this before. Remember the 841 covered parking spaces at Fedex Field?

John's been at Standard Solar for six years and the company's been around for eight. Many solar groups in DC focus on advocacy or tech whereas Standard Solar focuses on finding strong financial partnerships. For example, Standard has a symbiotic relationship with Washington Gas--Washington Gas needs to meet a certain amount of renewable energy standard (RES) requirements and Standard Solar benefits from the co-payments of Washington Gas. 

I've investigated projects by Standard Solar and Solar Solutions and talked with reps from both companies. If you're a reader that's looking to start up your own solar company in DC, here is a rough portrait of your competition:

Standard Solar
Solar Solutions
60 employees
25 employees
Lower volume of large contracts
Higher volume of smaller contracts
Institutional installations (universities)
Residential installations
Founded 2004
Founded 2009

Here are some details about the O'Boyle Hall Carports that John provided me with:
  • System Size: 168 kW
  • Est. Annual Production: 200 MWh2
  • In Service Date: Sept. 2012
  • Modules: 235W (714 modules total)
  • Tilt Angle: 7°
  • Designed Wind Speed: 90MPH
There are seven sites on CUA's campus with solar resulting in a max capacity of 677 kW (4 times the carport). You can view more about CUA's real-time solar energy production here: http://bit.ly/1EOtPVe