A breakthrough new technology will soon allow Kampgrounds of America (KOA) visitors to camp, gather and even build campfires under a patented shade structure that produces clean solar energy, the company announced today (June 17).
The first-of-its-kind PowerParasol will shade more than an acre of the Tucson/Lazydays KOA Holiday Campground in Arizona, including two architectural, 30-foot high structures that give visitors room to park RV’s in 30 campsites.
The parasol’s patented design creates dappled light, allowing plants and the campground’s famous fruit trees to thrive and families to camp, gather and barbeque under the structures. The unit’s height and unique design preserve views of the mountains and desert landscape and creates an open, airy space.
“These elegant solar structures will give us a huge area of shade and a welcoming space for our visitors, all while producing clean energy and meeting our customers’ fast-growing desire for green camping facilities,” said Pat Hittmeier, president of KOA, the world’s largest network of family-friendly campgrounds with 485 locations in North America. “We believe the PowerParasol will enhance visitors’ experience, improve customer engagement and make the camping experience much more comfortable for our campers, especially in the summer months.”
The campground’s two PowerParasol structures will include 3,500 solar panels with the capacity to generate a megawatt of DC power. In the first year, they will produce an estimated 1.75 million kilowatt hours of energy, enough to power more than 150 homes.
“This technology takes solar off the rooftop, out of solar farms and into the community. It enhances the land it’s built on and generates clean energy without increasing our customers’ environmental footprint,” said Bob Boscamp, president of Strategic Solar Energy, the company behind the PowerParasol. “Beyond that, we’re seeing these unique structures transform public spaces, improve traffic and customer satisfaction and allow businesses to visibly communicate their commitment to the environment.”
Construction on the KOA project is set to begin in late June, and should be complete in late October. The campground will use the energy to power its facilities and give visitors access to green energy, and any excess generation will be integrated into Tucson Electric Power’s grid, bringing another source of solar power to the community.
“We appreciate the assistance and support from Tucson Electric Power. They have proven to be a leader among utilities integrating renewable energy, while balancing the interests of the community, customers, and shareholders,” said Boscamp.
Based in Chandler, Ariz., Strategic Solar Energy (SSE) creates innovative renewable energy technology solutions. Its business model is to build beautiful solar structures, rather than hiding solar generation out of sight; to enhance land rather than consume it; and to work within the local electrical grid to generate electricity close to where it is consumed. SSE’s first product is the PowerParasol, a patented solar electric generation and shade structure. PowerParasol creates a shaded, park-like environment that improves rather than disrupts how the land is currently used.
For more information about Strategic Solar and the PowerParasol visit: http://powerparasol.com.