ST. ALBANS — Vermont solar company SunCommon installed the state’s first residential solar canopy here Tuesday.

The solar company’s latest innovation, a timber frame solar structure, expands solar options beyond roof top or ground mounted solar, which is what attracted St. Albans homeowner Scott Lemmon to the system.

“Our roof wasn’t a great fit for solar, both in size and aesthetics, so a ground-mounted option was best,” said Lemmon. “But we didn’t want to use precious yard space, so the dual-purpose solar canopy was a perfect fit. A no-brainer.”

With the solar canopy being eight feet tall, it allows homeowners and small businesses to go solar over their driveways, patios, woodpiles or create an outdoor entertaining space.

“We designed it with many uses in mind,” said Emily McManamy, a representative of SunCommon. “We were hearing feedback that folks were looking for kind of dual purpose. So while some homeowners are planning to park their cars underneath it, homeowners like Scott are planning on using it as an entertaining space.”

Each solar canopy is 23 by 19 feet, large enough to cover two parking spaces. The panels are supported by a timber-frame structure, each joint hand-fitted with a chisel and pegs.

“We really wanted to honor the Vermont esthetic, that hand craftsmanship,” said McManamy. “For people that are looking for a solar solution that is also beautiful, this is a good fit for them.”

For the full story, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.