Lockheed Martin contracted Advanced Roofing and Advanced Green Technologies to design and build a massive 2.25 megawatt solar carport at the global security and aerospace company’s Mission Systems and Training facility in Clearwater, Florida. The project will be the largest private, non-utility owned solar array in Florida and is expected to produce 3.33 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
The solar carport will cover 151, 400 square feet of the facility’s parking lot with 7,260 solar modules to provide shade for 534 cars. At completion, the project is expected to cut electricity purchases for the facility by up to 60 percent, according to Lockheed Martin’s estimates. The project also uses Sungrow inverters and custom-fabricated steel racking designed by Advanced Roofing.
Advanced Roofing, Florida’s largest commercial solar contractor, competed with a field of national and Florida-based firms for the contract. The company will serve as general contractor, with sister firm Advanced Green Technologies providing construction and installation.
“Since the facility’s operations will be in full swing throughout the construction schedule, precise phasing will be crucial to expedite our work and minimize disruption at the site,” said Clint Sockman, vice president of Advanced Roofing and Advanced Green Technologies. As the state’s largest commercial re-roofing contractor, Advanced Roofing will draw on its decades of experience with large, complex projects at operational corporate, federal, healthcare, education, manufacturing and retail facilities.
Construction of the fast-tracked, multi-phased project begins this month and will employ more than 40 workers on-site, with completion set for summer 2015. In addition to design, procurement and construction of the solar carport, Advanced Roofing’s contract includes resurfacing the entire 6.65-acre asphalt parking lot at the facility.
Advanced Roofing will first resurface half the parking lot, and then install the carport’s foundations and structural steel superstructure. The contractor’s crews will then install the solar panel canopy, using high- efficiency Hanwha SolarOne S-series modules, and will add the full under-canopy LED lighting system. The first phase will be in use as the second-phase parking lot work commences.
Throughout Florida and around the nation, offsetting energy costs with solar carports is a growing trend for corporate, healthcare, hotel and government facilities. A recent national study by GTM Research projected a 76 percent increase in solar carports from an estimated 2014 annual installed capacity of 180.2 megawatts to an estimated 318 megawatts in 2016.