Utilizing patented tensioned cable technology to reduce material and labor costs, Conger solar structures incorporate the same tensile structure principles used in thousands of suspension bridges around the world to suspend solar panels over land already used for other purposes.
Conger Solar Systems was founded in 2010 by Steven and Mary Catherine Conger. For Steven, an architect and protégé of Buckminster Fuller, the creation of Conger Solar Systems aligned with the mission “Bucky” granted him, “to build structures that support humanity.” Steven formed Conger Solar Systems to realize his vision of highly-efficient tensile structure design applied to utility scale solar. From the beginning, Steven recognized that tensile solar structures inherently create many advantages over traditional, rigid, solar racking designs. Recognizing a unique opportunity, Steven and his team spent many years perfecting and structurally engineering his designs, ultimately receiving 50 US and international design and utility patents.
With water becoming a more scarce and valuable resource, the government of India recognized that billions of gallons of water evaporate each year from their extensive network of irrigation and water conveyance canals. At the same time, the country’s growing population’s demand for electricity was outpacing India’s electrical power supply. To mitigate water loss from evaporation and meet its electricity demand, the government of India recognized they could solve both problems by covering their canals with solar. Having several large solar manufacturers and installers in the country, the government solicited bids to cover the canals. Unfortunately, the rigid steel structures designed to cover the canals and support large solar panel arrays were cost prohibitive.
Upon further research, the project managers found Conger Solar Systems and requested help. As a proof of concept, Conger designed, engineered and managed the installation of 2 miles of solar arrays installed over canals in Punjab, India, generating approximately 11MW of electricity and saving more than 30 million gallons of water each year.