From an article by Rachel Zwirlein on

VERONA – Motorists have used carports for decades to shield vehicles from the ravages of weather, including paint-fading sun. Now comes an idea for using solar-collecting carports to help power vehicles.

Solar Carport Canopy is a product that can provide an innovative solution for businesses looking to economically power plug-in hybrid vehicles while reducing costs and their carbon footprints.

As a contestant in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, Farhat Iqbal of Verona developed the idea for the Solar Carport and was one of 50 entrants to move to the semi-final phase of the competition.

Iqbal is the president of Silica Solar LLC in Verona. The idea for Solar Carport came from her desire to create a tangible way to use solar energy to generate electricity for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Solar Carport would be leased to individual firms to recharge company-owned and employee plug-in hybrids throughout the Madison area and beyond.

Although it is mechanically and structurally engineered for Wisconsin winds and snow, Iqbal said, Solar Carport can be used in any location where there is a need.

Businesses are going to start looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints and non-polluting solutions. “Solar is one of the options,” Iqbal said.