2.25 MegaWatts Solar Carport Installation
Florida’s Largest Privately Held Solar Carport Installation for Lockheed Martin in Oldsmar, Florida
In 2014, Lockheed Martin contracted Advanced Roofing and sister company Advanced Green Technologies to design and build a massive 2.25-megawatt solar carport at their Mission Systems and Training facility in Oldsmar, Florida. The project encompasses 7260 solar modules mounted on a 151,400 square foot area that is 24’ in height, which provides clean energy to the facility and protected parking for 534 vehicles.
Advanced Roofing was awarded the solar carport construction and solar installation project over seven other national contractors after a rigorous bidding process managed by Lockheed Martin. What Advanced Roofing brought to the table was not only experience in large-scale solar power installations in Florida but also the ability to both design and build the project.
Advanced Roofing was the turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor on the Lockheed Martin project. The project scope included the entire parking lot asphalt replacement, installation of a custom designed steel carport structure with concrete foundations equipped with a solar power racking system, and an under-canopy LED lighting system. Overall, between Advanced Roofing and Advanced Green Technologies, the team was able to self-perform most of the overall project installation because of its in-house resources in roofing, sheet metal, cranes, and renewable energy.
Being located in Florida, the carport solar array provided some design challenges due to the hurricane force winds that can access 150 miles per hour or more. Taking these wind loads into careful consideration, our team was able to make the adjustments and include in the structural design. And because Factory Mutual insures Lockheed Martin the project had to meet strict guidelines for the high-speed wind zone.
“Any time that Factory Mutual becomes involved, projects become heavily scrutinized,” mentioned Clint Sockman, Advanced Roofing Vice President of Renewable Energy.
Also, because of limited parking spaces during the construction process, the project had to be carefully phased so that employees had somewhere to park safely and the facility could continue to operate without disruptions.
Hanwha SolarOne Company provided the high-efficiency, S-series solar modules for the project, with inverters provided by SunGrow, and Advanced Green Technologies providing the steel carport structure. Components supplied for the project were rated for the Florida environment, such as wind resistance and corrosion resistance from saltwater spray. Issues like this were also taken into account with the steel structure and coatings on the steel structure, given that it is a 25-year energy production asset.
Florida for the interconnection it was a fairly easy process as based Advanced Roofing’s experience a good understanding of Florida’s regulations governing the tie-in of renewable power installations into the existing grid.
Furthermore, bringing an added “green” dimension to the environmentally friendly construction project, the team was able to recycle the inch-deep soil that was removed from the entire parking lot to donate to the City of Oldsmar’s new BMX Supercross facility that is nearby.
The solar carport project was completed on time, and on budget without safety issues or disrupting the Lockheed Martin’s daily operations. Furthermore, upon completion of the solar project in September 2015 it held the title as the largest private, non-utility owned solar array in Florida at 2.25 Megawatts. The solar carport system can deliver significant savings to the Lockheed Martin overtime, cutting its utility costs up to 65 percent for annual savings of about $300,000. That’s a savings of $6.5 million over 25 years, and a greenhouse gas emissions savings of 35 percent from deflecting energy consumption from conventional fossil fuel sources. In addition to the energy saving and reduced environmental footprint, the carport is also providing some much-appreciated shade for employees.