Isla Vistans get first Solar Parking Lot
Industrial designers are dreaming of a project like this for a long time. They wanted a solar powered parking lot which can sustain itself and light up its own lights. They also want future electric vehicles to be charged at the same place too. The spirit of Isla Vistans can be imitated. They turned out in large number for the inaugural ceremony of a new parking space at 881 Embarcadero del Mar. What was so special about a parking lot? The parking lot was constructed on a half-acre site. The interesting part is the same location used to house a Chevron gas station. Isla Vista, Santa Barbara County, California, has registered its presence in the field of clean and green energy. They established their first solar-powered car parking lot.
This solar powered parking space can accommodate 45 parking spaces. It also contains an array of 98 solar panels mounted on steel beams. These solar panels will illuminate the parking lot and will power the parking meters too. Jeff Lindgren, who is the redevelopment manager for Isla Vista, said that panels would soon be expanded to 109. These panels would generate enough electricity to light up even the Pardall Road as well.
3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr opines, “It certainly serves a model for sustainable projects to emulate throughout the county.”
What does the roof of this parking space look like? Actually the roof is made up of solar panels and beams. This double layered roof provides shade for automobiles. They have also installed a water filtration system that will aid in maintaining storm runoff clean. Four years ago, Bob Nisbet, who is the director of the county’s General Services Department, was quite skeptical about acquiring land for this purpose. He graciously admits, “The whole thing just seemed a little half-cocked to me. I’m happy to see today that I’m wrong.”
It has to be noted that parking spaces in the heart of Isla Vista are extremely difficult to find. They are considered as exceptional luxuries. People involved in this project are thinking of future too. They are of the view if people stop depending on cars as most important mode of transport then they can utilize this solar car parking space into something more beneficial for the community.
According to Lindgren this project cost the county $1.4 million for the property. Construction of the parking lot consumed $760,000, $200,000 of which went to the solar set-up.