Century-Old Auto Dealership Switches to Solar for Reliable Cost Savings
BOULDER, Colo., December 3, 2019 – Independent Power Systems (IPS), a Boulder-based solar design and installation company providing premium solar plus storage solutions, recently completed a 438.9 kilowatt (kW) commercial solar power array on the roof of Weld County Garage Buick GMC in Greeley, Colorado. The new and used car dealer joins the growing trend of auto dealerships making the switch to solar energy to help save on electricity costs and hedge against future utility rate increases.
In 1908, Weld County Garage became the first Buick dealership west of the Mississippi River and was brought into the General Motors’ (GM) family of dealerships shortly thereafter when the holding company was founded in September of that year. Today, just over 110 years later, Weld County Garage Buick GMC has grown to become one of the largest Buick and GMC dealerships in the nation with over 300 employees and five locations to serve the automotive needs of Northern Colorado communities.
“With an institution as storied as Weld County Garage, we are always looking for ways to stay relevant in our community and improve our operational efficiency,” says Grant Nisly, General Sales Manager at Weld County Garage. “One of my roles is to drive high ROI projects that offer long-term benefits to the ownership group and solar just made good business sense. Right now, we’re sitting at about 80 percent offset for our electricity needs and have been able to drive down peak demand by over 20 percent. Though I personally have a passion for energy efficiency, the decision to go solar was purely financial in this case.”
“We’re having more conversations with auto dealers—the majority of which are locally owned and operated—who are looking to free up operating capital, reduce operational costs, and increase their sales as a result of demonstrated environmental leadership,” said Maya Resnick, Commercial Solar and Storage Consultant at Independent Power Systems. “These groups are motivated to look at long-term strategies like solar that will effectively lock in energy rates and provide a reliable power source for decades. Our partnership with SunPower has been a tremendous opportunity to engage with the dealership community and offer simple, high-quality solutions to help long-time Colorado institutions continue to thrive.”
Weld County Garage’s solar power system includes 1,291 SunPower® Performance Series 340 watt modules and is expected to generate an annual production of 594,872 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The system is projected to offset approximately 1,013,811 pounds of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) each year.
“Auto dealerships nationwide are leveraging solar to sustainably and effectively reduce electricity costs while freeing up resources that can be used to improve the car-buying experience for customers,” said Derek Noble, senior national sales director, SunPower commercial solar. “SunPower’s complete solar energy solutions offer a smart and cost-effective way for businesses in any industry to maximize their investment and earn more savings over time.”
About Independent Power Systems
For the past 23 years, Independent Power Systems (IPS) has been on the front lines of renewable energy development, designing and installing premium solar plus storage systems for residential and commercial customers. Their team of highly skilled engineers, electricians, and installers is committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation in energy resilience and sustainability. To date, IPS has installed thousands of grid-tied and off-grid energy systems in Colorado, Montana, Massachusetts, and internationally.
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About Independent Power Systems
Independent Power Systems (IPS) has been designing and installing premium solar and energy storage systems for residential and commercial customers in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Montana since 1996. Our team of highly skilled engineers, electricians, and installers is committed to innovation in energy resilience and sustainability as well as helping the community achieve energy independence, do right by the environment, and save money in the process. To date, IPS has installed thousands of grid-tied, off-grid, remote wind, and microgrid systems including several challenging international projects for large commercial clients and the military.