RI company gets grant to build solar canopy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has given a solar panel enterprise a $120,000 grant. The grant will go toward building the prototype for an eight-car parking lot solar canopy.

The Providence-based Solar Canopy says its prototype will feature car charging capabilities and a rain water capturing system. CEO Donald Richardson says it should be built in three months.

"There's a row of central fiberglass columns and on top of the fiberglass columns are wings going out to the left and the right," says Richardson. "On top of which photovoltaic laminate will be draped and that provides the source of power."

Massive solar panel projects covering parked cars while generating electricity have popped up at the University of San Diego and the headquarters of Dell Computers. And Rutgers University is building canopies for 32 acres of parking on its Livingston campus.

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