Powered by the sun
A Marathon gas station in Kendallville, Indiana, recently installed a 20kW solar PV system to power its operations and help reduce its operational costs. The system was installed in August 2015 and now provides approximately 25 percent of the station’s electrical power. The system provides real-time information from a monitor inside the store, including the energy being used, the system status, and the CO2 emissions avoided. The monitor also shows the usage by day, month and year.
“It’s estimated that the system will pay for itself within five years,” says Dave Skowronek, Marathon Brand territory manager. The system’s manufacturer says that a single 10kW solar PV system is estimated to prevent over 12 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere every year…and 360 tons over the system’s estimated lifetime. The panels are also built to withstand what nature dishes out, including golf ball-sized hail and extreme wind conditions.
“I’m always looking for ways to reduce controlled expenses,” says Marathon dealer Steve Stephens. “We have LED lighting in use all over the store, but this was another thing that made sense to us.”
“Steve’s system should generate 26,000 kW-h of power a year,” adds Skowronek. “His roof was relatively new, which was a key ingredient to the installation. He also took advantage of a federal tax credit, and there are also other incentives which vary by utility and state to help make the system even more affordable.”