Installing solar parking canopies is a visible step toward increasing our use of renewable energy, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, supporting Massachusetts jobs and moving toward the statutory commitments of the Global Warming Solutions act and the committed goal of statewide net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Conceptual rendering of a solar parking canopy at the Needham High School upper parking lot.

A solar canopy is also a public amenity, providing parking sheltered from rain, snow and heat. It can reduce environmentally damaging runoff by channeling rain and snow melt into the ground. Including EV charging would provide an additional public benefit and contribute toward decarbonizing transportation. Including energy storage in the project would deliver additional benefits, contributing to Needham’s resilience and disaster preparedness.

Several town-owned parking lots in Needham are good candidates for solar parking canopies. This project aims to get a solar parking canopy installed at the Needham High School upper parking lot. Needham High School uses the most electricity of any town building. A solar parking canopy could generate 25% or more of the building’s electricity.

The Newman School parking lot is another potential site.


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