Dover Bus Canopy

JMT provided surveying, structural construction documents, and construction support for the design of a new, free-standing photovoltaic canopy system for a bus parking facility.


Dover, DE


Delaware Department of Transportation

The Delaware Transit Corporation received a $2.5 million federal grant to install solar panels at a bus parking facility in Dover. The project included a canopy system, which helps protect the fleets during extreme weather year-round. In addition, the canopy consisting of 63,000 square feet of solar panels provides power to the facility and the six electric buses stationed there. This project provides up to 900 KWh of energy, generating its own clean power to reduce operating costs and help meet the state’s sustainability goals.

This initiative is focused on energy efficiency (fleet vehicle fuel use) and energy usage, which are directly related to energy consumption at DTC facilities. To support this initiative, JMT supported DTC by successfully authoring an FTA grant for a comprehensive renewable energy program for the Dover facility. The FTA grant and project included a multi-phased engineering/ architectural approach to analyze, design and construct a Solar Canopy over the current bus parking generating solar energy during the day that is stored in a battery storage system located onsite to charge the electric buses each night.
The purpose and benefit of this project was two-fold. First, the addition of the canopy covering the buses would extend the life of the vehicles, moderate the temperature within the buses and eliminate the need to perform snow removal from the top of the buses. Second, the addition of the solar panel array would reduce the energy cost and promote the use of clean energy consistent with the DTC’s Clean Energy and Energy Savings Initiative.

The project included:

• 2,240 solar panels (965 KW solar array) covering 63,000 SF of a watertight canopy
• Two– 1.1 MWh batteries creating the battery energy storage system
• Smart energy control center (ECC) allows DTC to remotely charge buses from the battery or utility provider
• Ecostruxture micro-grid controls allow remote monitoring of the microgrid system
• Transit security connections
• LED under canopy lighting

The 2,240 solar panels are estimated to generate 1,090,000 KWh of clean sustainable energy per year, reducing DTC’s energy cost and supporting the 50X30 goals. DTC’s Dover operations and administration facility provides a central location for bus deployment, parking, maintenance, bus wash, and fueling, along with administrative facilities. The solar canopy structure was analyzed as a cantilever structure and dual supported structure. After a cost-benefit analysis, the dual supported structure was determined to be more economical, providing coverage for 100 buses. The canopy columns will have concrete wrapped in a foam liner to protect buses from damage.