Down the road from the offices of Bosch Solar Energy, Spotlight Solar and Southern Energy Management, people are stopping to look at a remarkable new solar installation on the parking lot of Discovery Place. Two 20-foot, brightly colored solar trees, which utilize Bosch high performance photovoltaic modules, stand tall at the science museum. The installation’s prominent downtown location helps to raise awareness and understanding of solar among hundreds of thou-sands of Charlotte residents and visitors.
“We are pleased to be able to support the Discovery Place’s efforts to educate people about the importance of conserving energy and investing in renewable technology,” said Eric Daniels, regional president, Solar Energy North America, Robert Bosch LLC. “This installation uses a novel approach to build appreciation for solar energy, and also demonstrates that it can look great in our architectural landscape.”
Each tree has two branches which hold a total of twelve Bosch solar modules. One tree is blue and the other orange, which provide a bold and unconventional contrast to the parking lot space. The total energy produced will be used to power an electric vehicle charging station and offset energy usage in a nearby educational building.
As property owners implement solar systems to save on energy costs and benefit the environment, they also appreciate the differentiation solar can provide the property and the city. Craig Merrigan, CEO of Spotlight Solar, the company that designed and manufactured the trees, commented that “the ultimate goal of the project is to make solar more visible and to increase the number of visitors to Discovery Place, where they can learn about renewable energy.”
“This striking installation shows Discovery Place’s innovative character, and builds intrigue for solar,” said Bob Kingery, CEO of Southern Energy Management. “We have installed solar around the southeastern U.S. for the last 10 years, and this is the most distinctive installation to date.” Southern Energy Management provided system integration design and service for both the solar structures and an electric vehicle charging station. All three companies involved will continue their contribution by lending expertise to a solar education event for the public, to be announced shortly.