Solar Carports & Canopies:

A Manufacturer and Product Line Guide

Solar carports and canopies have proven to be a successful and marketable approach to PV system siting and deployment. In addition to generating power, these structures add significant value to frequently underutilized parking areas, providing shade during the sunny months and protection from precipitation during the wet ones. This article provides system designers, engineers, and procurement and sales teams with overviews of 17 companies that offer solar carports, canopies or awnings in their product and service portfolios.

Many of the companies profiled have long business histories working with steel structures. As the solar industry gained momentum and entered new geographical markets, these vendors optimized their designs to integrate with PV arrays. As evidenced by the substantial number of companies profiled, a competitive market has developed for solar carports and canopies, driving the designers and fabricators of these structures to advance their designs. Today, project developers, integrators and EPC firms have an impressive range of solutions in this product class with a high level of optimization and refinement.

Absolute Steel

Headquarters: Tempe, Arizona
Contact: absoluterv.com • 877.833.3237

Arizona Storage, a privately owned company that also does business under the Absolute Steel brand name, was founded in 1999. At its production facilities on company-owned properties in Arizona and Texas, Absolute Steel fabricates a selection of steel-frame solar-ready carport systems that range from small canopies with two parking spaces to large carport designs suitable for commercial applications. Its showroom in the metropolitan Phoenix area displays its steel buildings, carport systems, barns and storage sheds. Absolute Steel supports customers with site evaluation, structural engineering, on-site management and training, and domestic and international shipping services.

Baja Construction 

Headquarters: Martinez, California
Contact: bajacarports.com • 800.366.9600

In operation since 1981, Baja Construction is a privately owned and vertically integrated design and construction firm with an in-house engineering department as well as its own construction crews. The company specializes in prefabricated, pre-engineered, high-tensile light-gauge steel structures that include solar carports, ground mounts and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as nonsolar carports, and RV, boat and self-storage facilities. Its engineering services and custom designs enable Baja to develop structures that meet site-specific wind load, snow load and geotechnical requirements. The company operates regional offices in Fontina, California; Dallas; Holbrook, New York; Las Vegas; and Phoenix.

Baja’s product line includes four standard configurations. Designed to cover a single row of parking spaces, its Braced Single Post carport includes flat, upslope and downslope options. Full Cantilever offers the same slope configurations, with the carport posts located along one of the structure’s eves. Full Cantilever T covers two rows of parking spaces, with posts located along the structure’s centerline between rows, and is available in flat and sloped array options. Finally, Single Post Back to Back couples two single-post configurations installed adjacent to each other to create a common flat or sloped array surface that covers two rows of parking spaces. All four of these configurations allow for customer-specified design requirements such as eve height, array tilt angle and purlin spacing based on module dimensions, and facilitate both portrait and landscape module layouts.

Carport Structures

Headquarters: Oxford, Michigan
Contact: carportstructures.com • 800.442.4435

Carport Structures has been providing covered parking solutions and structural steel canopy products for commercial applications for more than 40 years. The privately owned and operated fabrication and construction company specializes in the design, manufacturing and installation of structural steel products such as multi-housing carports, walkway canopies and covers, shade structures, park shelters and RV carports.

In recent years it has developed solutions for commercial and utility PV applications, offering a range of services that include project quoting and presentation, site analysis, regional building code review and analysis, structural design, foundation design and layout, project management, foundation excavation and construction, steel structure erection and field fabrication, field painting, and PV racking and module installation. In addition to creating custom designs, it offers 11 standard carport products including single-column cantilever configurations, two-column configurations and louvered configurations that set each individual module row at a customer-specified tilt angle. All carport solutions are available for single-, double- and multiple-lane elevated structures.

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