You know how it is during the summer when it becomes sweltering hot, and the moment you step out from the bathroom after a nice and refreshing bath, you start to feel beads of sweat pouring out from your brow again. Even when you go for a drive and need a place to park, looking for a shady spot can be quite tricky – although things might change with this new set of trees that have been planted at nine big parking lots in the San Jose, California area. These trees aren’t your standard leafy green saplings, but rather, are huge silver specimens that sport 12-foot-tall trunks and broad steel canopies which intend to shield your vehicle from the harsh, unforgiving rays of the sun – while churning out solar power to boot.

Naturally, they’re known as “solar trees” because they offer shade while generate electricity from the sun, thanks to photovoltaic cells located on top. Expect to see this at Santa Clara County government buildings and health clinics in San Jose and Gilroy, in addition to a jail in Milpitas.

Just how green will it be? Well, how about saving the county around $18 million in electrical costs, when you take into consideration a 25-year period, not to mention the amount of greenhouse gases that can be reduced in the process? We do hope to see similar projects set up like this around the world.

Filed in Green. Read more about Solar and Solar Power.

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