Solar trees spring up in Santa Clara parking lots

A new kind of tree is growing in Santa Clara County (CA) parking lots. The 12-foot tall silver saplings are topped with photovoltaic cells that produce electricity for county facilities and reduce emissions. The so-called solar trees also create shady parking spaces, which is a popular side benefit. “Most people think it’s covered parking, and like it,” said Lin Ortega, the county’s utilities engineer/program manager. The 15,000 solar panels in nine parking lots are expected to save the county $18 million over 25 years and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4,116 metric tons — equivalent to removing 800 cars from the road each year. Link to full story in

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