BP has unveiled its first solar powered ARCO gas station in Southern California.LOS ANGELES, California – June 18, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] BP has begun to invest in new retail sites as the company expands its presence in the region with state-of-the-art fueling and convenience outlets. These new prototype facilities will utilize solar energy and all will sell cleaner burning fuels. BP currently operates or franchises more than 500 ARCO gas stations in the greater Los Angeles area, some of which are under renovation to modernize older facilities. The inclusion of solar power at all new ARCO convenience stores is part of BP’s worldwide effort to demonstrate that energy related business needs can be met while minimizing environmental impact. “In announcing the inclusion of solar power and initiating retail sales of ECD-1 fuel, 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, bolstering and helping modernize the regional transportation infrastructure 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 kilowatts 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.