19 kW Solar PV System to Power Gas Station

Although the products sold there may not be renewable, a California gas station’s power soon will be thanks to the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array.

Novato, California – February 10, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Prevalent Power, a Renewable Energy developer, has contracted with Harold Company, owner of the new 5th St. Beacon station in Gonzales, California to install a 19 kW solar PV system. The system is expected to supply almost all of the company’s energy for canopy lighting and fuel pumps. Thanks to financing arranged through Prevalent Power, the gas station’s total cost of energy will be significantly lower than if they bought the same amount of energy from the utility company. “We’re very excited about this project, for several reasons,” said Arno Harris, president of Prevalent Power. “Using solar energy to power a gas station makes great economic and environmental sense. Harold Company will be saving money and at the same time can be proud of the steps they’re taking to reduce emissions. The system is made up of 126 solar panels that are connected directly to the utility grid through specially designed inverters. When the solar array generates more power than the gas station needs, it will turn the station’s electricity meter backward. Harris estimates that the system, which has a 30-year lifetime, will pay for itself in less than 7 years based on utility cost savings. Prevalent Power secured approximately half of the project financing from the state of California through the CEC’s Emerging Renewable Buy-Down Program with an additional 25 percent of the system paid for through federal and state tax incentives.
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