|Kyocera Solar Grove|
Kyocera recently held a public dedication for its first-ever Solar Grove—an array of 25 “solar trees” that converts a 186-vehicle parking lot into a 235-kW solar electric generating system.
Based on test conditions and adjusted for inverter efficiency estimated at 94%, the 235 kW system is capable of generating 421,000 kilowatt hours per year.
The system’s 25 solar trees form a carport in a Kyocera employee parking lot, utilizing a total of 1,400 Kyocera KC-187G solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and 200 custom-manufactured, light-filtering PV modules.
The project is supported by the California Public Utilities Commission’s “Self Generation Incentive Program,” which will cover approximately 36% of the system’s purchase and installation costs; as well as federal and state tax credits, and a five-year accelerated depreciation schedule.
The standard Kyocera solar modules used in the Solar Grove are covered by a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty, and Kyocera anticipates that the Solar Grove will pay for itself within 12 years.
Adding vehicle-charging stanchions to such a design to support plug-in hybrids as well as full EVs seems a small additional step.
Although Kyocera Solar’s focus is more on the stationary (grid-tie systems, building-integrated photovoltaics) and the remote industrial, the Kyocera has a long-standing effort in electric vehicles as well.
In addition to its “Son of Sun” PV racer, the company developed (10 years ago) a prototype city EV: the Solar Car Vehicle (SCV).