Zaragoza sees the potential of solar canopies and parking lots, Source: Depositphotos

Zaragoza turns parking lots into power generators

Zaragoza turns parking lots into power generators

These urban spaces will serve as the central nodes for the establishment of self-sufficient energy communities

The City of Zaragoza is one of the 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, chosen as the torchbearers of transition by the European Commission. In that light, the local authorities have wasted no time in tackling the energy crisis and thinking of solutions.

On 29 September, the City Council approved the creation of shared self-sufficient communities with renewable electricity. The node of these communities will be panel canopies located on parking lots and serving to both provide share to the vehicles and capture the solar energy.

The communities will consist of homes and businesses located within a 500-metre radius of power-generating parking lots. It is estimated that, in total, more than 18,000 households could benefit from this initiative.

For the Councilor of Public Services and Mobility, Natalia Chueca, "at a time of energy crisis like the current one, we are going to reduce the electricity bill by at least 30% for 18,000 families and 200 businesses in Actur and El Rabal, without this It will also entail a cost for the City Council. We are facing a pioneering and creative idea that will help our neighbours obtain benefits from public space".

A drawing magnet for cars and sun rays

These canopies will be located in existing parking areas and will be installed, maintained, operated and managed by concessionaires over a period of 25 years. The final objective is to take advantage of the space available in the public domain that is used as parking to install Photovoltaic Production Plants that, in addition, will generate shaded parking for vehicles.

The concessionaires will create communities of shared consumption of renewable electricity, aimed both at private homes and businesses located within a maximum radius of 500 meters and at the City Hall itself. Thus, it will be possible to generate electricity without emissions with minimum reductions in the electricity bill of 30% during the concession, a reduction that will increase once the investment is amortized. The specifications approved also include specific clauses to favour the most vulnerable families.

The Public Services and Mobility Area will tender this first project in two parking lots. The total installed power will be 3.4 MW and an annual production of 6,500,000 KWh is previewed. The area of ​​cover with photovoltaic panels necessary for this production will be about 17,000 square meters.

Once the lots have been awarded, the maximum term for the installation of the photovoltaic plants will be 10 months, and for the creation of the energy communities, 12 months. These terms could be reduced by two months, respectively, depending on the offers submitted by the bidders.

Parking in these spaces will be free of charge - unless it coincides with a regulated parking zone - and the canopies will have enough height to accommodate cars and vans underneath them. 



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