The City of Chicago became the site of BP’s latest concept in convenience story retailing with the opening of the partially solar powered BP Connect.CHICAGO, Illinois – May 16, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Located in downtown Chicago, the new store is powered in part by a canopy atop the pump island made of translucent solar panels. The BP-developed thin-film solar modules embedded in the canopy generate renewable electricity directly from sunlight – enough to power about five homes or roughly 10 to 15 percent of the site’s overall energy needs. “In addition to being one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels in the world, BP is the largest commercial user of solar power,” said Polly Flinn, senior vice president for BP’s US retail operations. “To date, we have installed solar panels at more than 380 of our retail sites worldwide. Counted together, these panels are producing more than six megawatts of electricity per day and reducing harmful carbon dioxide emission by 6,500 tons per year.” During the next five years, BP plans to build five new solar-powered BP Connect convenience stores in Chicago. BP also announced a grant of thin-film solar panels and technology to the Chicago Public Schools for a solar energy project. The project will look for ways to include solar power into future new construction projects at Chicago schools. BP also announced a US$25,000 grant to the Garfield Park Conservatory to enable the creation of a mosaic mural at the Garfield Park elevated train stop in Chicago. The project will be completed by Chicago youth this summer.