Cutting pollution and global heating emissions in the United States is dependent more than anything else on 1) shifting from fossil fuel powered vehicles to electric vehicles and human-powered transit, and 2) switching from coal and natural gas to solar and wind energy. Auto dealers have had an … interesting … role in the cleantech transition so far. They are often highlighted for reticence to the EV transition or putting up barriers against it, or for putting big markups on limited-supply electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. News I did not expect to hit my screen this week is news that a Chevy dealership in Oregon is going above and beyond in the cleantech arena and installing elevated solar trackers across its lot.
Practically speaking, I’m sure the large “Strackers” will save the dealer, TC Chevy of Ashland, big money on its electricity bill in the long term. On a “softer” marketing side, these large elevated solar power systems will no doubt attract the attention of anyone interested in protecting our climate, our lungs, and our lives. As more and more of the market goes electric, these solar trackers are beacons calling out to all who see them — “This dealership knows about hot new tech, clean tech, and EVs.”
Unsurprisingly, the solar company, Stracker Solar, noted that this is going to be the first solar-powered auto dealership in Southern Oregon thanks to the 5 solar tracker systems it installed.
Also unsurprisingly, TC Chevy is already a leading EV seller. It’s the top EV seller in Southern Oregon.
“We believe in cutting-edge technology,” said Derek DeBoer, 3rd generation Owner/Operator of TC Chevy. “Our cars and trucks feature the latest designs and manufacturing practices, and we wanted a solar power system that does the same. The fact that the Strackers are the most efficient and impressive solar solution currently available has sealed the deal.”
It may appear from the picture above that the solar trackers are already in place, but that’s just a visualization. Site work on the lot has begun, and the solar power tracking systems are expected to be installed by the end of the month.
“We are very aware of the local sentiment towards clean energy and sustainability,” DeBoer also stated. “We thought it was time that an auto dealership goes beyond just selling electric vehicles and takes the lead in implementing clean energy measures.”
Aside from featuring the very visible tracker systems, these solar panels are bifacial solar panels, meaning they collect sunlight from both sides in order to maximize electricity production. “Each of the five dual-axis solar trackers that will tower above the vehicles at the dealership will carry an array of 28 Longi 445W bifacial solar panels atop its 20 ft pole,” Stracker Solar writes. “They will sport high-power LED display lighting for the illumination of the display lot. The complete five-Stracker system will produce 140,000 kWh solar power per year, which means an annual 99.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide reduction in the atmosphere. This impressive number is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 117 acres of US forests every year.”
Here are 5 more notes about these solar tracking systems from Stracker Solar:
- Stracker Solar manufactures, sells, and installs state-of-the-art elevated dual-axis solar trackers.
- Strackers are the most robust, highest efficiency solar power systems available, generating up to 70% more solar energy each year than same-sized fixed rooftop, carport, or ground-mount systems. This efficiency translates to a 55%–65% lower carbon footprint as well.
- Stracker’s 20′ pole-mounting allows continued use of the grounds below, which makes the system ideally suited for parking lots, agricultural operations, school yards, community solar projects, and more.
- Strackers are developed and manufactured in Ashland, Oregon, and are documenting unparalleled performance across a variety of northern California and southern Oregon climates.
- Strackers are the only dual-axis trackers that carry the valued UL 3703 certification and qualify for Energy Trust of Oregon incentives.
All images courtesy of Stracker Solar
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