Sunfinity Renewable Energy powers Texas car dealership with 199.9-kW solar project

Lakeside Chevrolet of Rockwall, Texas, will soon have more than superior horsepower going for it. The North Texas’ Chevrolet dealership will begin sourcing about one-third of its electricity needs from a solar roof-mount system, which will also cut its operating costs. Lakeside, which has been in Rockwall for almost 50 years, will be the first automotive dealership in the city to tap into the power of solar.

Lakeside Chevrolet in Rockwall, Texas, has become the first auto dealership in this suburb to deploy solar power to generate clean, renewable electricity. Dallas-based Sunfinity Renewable Energy designed and installed the 588-panel system, which is estimated to save more than $500,000 in utility bills.

Sunfinity Renewable Energy, headquartered in Dallas, designed, engineered and managed the installation of the 588 PV panel system, which is located on four Lakeside buildings: the primary dealership building, the service shop, auto body repair shop and warehouse. The 199.9 kWdc-system is projected to offset more than 300 MWh of power per year, saving more than $566,000 in electricity costs over 30 years. The system will reduce nearly 500,000 pounds of CO2 per year.

The dealership was able to save on system costs by combining a 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with an Oncor Solar Incentive. Brad J. Snyder, president of Sunfinity’s commercial division, noted that ITC incentives are scheduled to scale back starting in 2020. “The ITC steps down to 26% for projects that begin construction in 2020, and 22 percent for projects that begin in 2021. After 2021, the commercial credit drops to a permanent 10 percent,” he said. “The time is now to execute commercial solar projects.”

“Going solar is not only an environmentally friendly choice, it’s actually a strategic advantage,” said Bob Holliman, Lakeside’s dealer. “North Texas is an extremely competitive market for automobile sales and service; if we can save on utility bills—and the savings start day one—then that money can go into services that will make a real difference for our customers, helping our business grow.”

Snyder pointed out that Lakeside’s solar generation also lowers their electricity demand during the highest priced periods, allowing them to lock in their remaining electricity needs at a lower price per kilowatt hour with their electricity provider.

“This provides an optimized on-peak/off-peak load shape with budget certainty over the life of the solar asset, which is expected to be 30 years or more,” he said. “We consider the switch to solar to be part of our leadership role in the community, and as part of our duty to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives here.”

News item from Sunfinity Renewable Energy

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