BP unveiled its first solar powered ARCO gas station in Riverside as part of an investment the company is making in new Southern California sites.Riverside, California – October 14, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] BP said it would invest in several new retail sites over the next five years that all will utilize solar energy. BP currently operates or franchises more than 1200 ARCO stations in California area, some of which are under renovation to modernize older facilities. “In announcing the inclusion of solar power, BP is clearly defining its local commitment to reducing global emissions while setting new standards for the industry to follow,” said J.R. Thomas, senior vice president for the company’s West Coast retail operations. “Our retail investment in Southern California will help reshape the future of the local industry and is clearly in line with our aim of improving the environmental impacts of our activities.” The new solar stations will feature solar photovoltaic panels atop pump island canopies providing enough energy to supply approximately 20 percent of the site’s overall energy needs. That equates to 16 kW of clean electric power, enough to supply the electrical needs of four average homes. The BP-developed solar modules are installed on the top of the island canopy. The 108 photovoltaic panels are arrayed to provide electricity to help run the station’s fuel dispensers and exterior lighting. BP Solar manufactured the solar panels at its facility in Fredrick, Maryland, one of nine manufacturing plants that BP has around the world. In addition to being one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels, BP has over the past several years equipped more than 380 of its retail sites in 17 countries with solar capability making it also one of the largest users of the technology. London based BP is one of the world’s largest petroleum and petrochemical companies that also is involved in solar technology manufacturing. BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco, ARCO, and Burmah Castrol.