Net Zero Parks

Net Zero Parks

Allegheny County installed solar-powered canopies in Deer Lakes and White Oak Parks in 2022. Since installation, the playgrounds supported by the energy array have seen a significant boost in visitor satisfaction, with many appreciating the shade provided by the canopy, especially during the summer months.

Net-Zero Solar Array

Anticipated completion: Summer 2024

Allegheny County broke ground on its Net Zero Parks project in December 2022, installing solar photovoltaic arrays in Deer Lakes and White Oak parks to generate enough energy to offset the energy consumed in both parks. The project features a solar canopy in White Oak Park, generating 156,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and two systems in Deer Lakes Park, including a ground-mounted array and a roof-mounted system on the spray park's pumphouse, generating an estimated 180,000-kilowatt hours per year.

Net Zero Parks

What is a Solar Array?

While a solar panel is made of individual solar cells that collect energy from sunlight, a solar array is a set of connected solar panels arranged to maximize energy collection. The term photovoltaic means that the array utilizes sunlight directly to generate electricity, instead of lenses and mirrors reflecting or concentrating sunlight onto a specific area.

About the Net Zero Parks Project

In White Oak Park, the solar canopy powers the parking lot near the Chestnut Playground, generating 156,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Deer Lakes Park has two systems, a ground-mounted solar array near the park office and a small roof solar system on the pumphouse of the spray park, generating a combined 180,000 kilowatt hours per year. Located near the main entrance of the park, the Deer Lakes solar array can be seen by visitors as they come to enjoy the trails, playground, and spray park. 

Energy Generation
 Individual Park Output
Deer Lakes Park 180,000 kWh/yr.
White Oak Park 156,000 kWh/yr.
Total Combined Output
Technical Output 336,000 kWh/yr.
Actual Output Enough energy to power 28 residential homes each year
Winner of the 2024 Energy Project of the Year award from the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania