Timber Frame and Solar: SunCommon’s Solar Canopy


Combining solar with timber framing? We’re all in. We’ve teamed up with SunCommon, a solar energy company with locations in Vermont and New York to bring their latest innovation, the Solar Canopy, to life.

These structures are making solar even easier to add to businesses and homes. The canopies are great for over driveways, parking areas, patios, wood piles, or serving as new outdoor spaces. We like this project as an energy producer, gathering spot, and outdoor storage space–the uses are nearly limitless.

According to SunCommon’s calculations, a two-car bi-facial panel canopy generates enough solar power for the average Vermont home. Designed to take advantage of snow, they use glass solar panels on the Canopies that absorb light from both the front and the back thanks to Sunpreme bi-facial solar panels. If the Canopy is covered with snow on top, the underside of the panels will still produce power from the sunlight reflected off the snow-covered ground. Providing shelter, making the most of inclement weather, and offsetting energy demands–yes, please!

Mike Beganyi spearheaded the partnership with SunCommon and has been on-site taking photos of several of the Vermont canopy projects, including the first canopy opening with Vermont Governor Phil Scott at Hunger Mountain Co-op, a member-owned grocery and cafe.

Homeowners are embracing the canopies, as Vermont homeowner Karen expressed: “This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for. The Solar Canopy will generate the solar power we need to stabilize our energy costs and have our home heating, electricity and transportation powered by sunshine. And, it’s just really pretty!”

We’re pre-crafting each frame and Mike has worked extensively with the builder partners for SunCommon to make raising smooth and efficient.

Solar continues to gain popularity and we couldn’t be happier to see this clean energy resource used. We’re on board with SunCommon’s mission “…to tear down barriers to clean energy and use our business as a force for good”. We also want to offer congratulations to SunCommon NY as they were recently named the #1 fastest growing company on the Rochester Chamber Top 100.

We just can’t get enough of the timber/solar combination. How would you use a solar canopy? Share your ideas with us.