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Raleigh, NC, United States, 2011/10/12 - The 98.7 kilowatt PV system will be highly visible to planes taking off and landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport - Southern-Energy.com.
A Raleigh car dealership is leading the way in promoting sustainable energy in North Carolina. This fall, Westgate Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram (CJDR) is adding a 98.7-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system to the roof of its service bay overlooking Glenwood Avenue. Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management (SEM) is designing and installing the array, which is expected to pay for itself in 5 years or less.
The array will use 420 solar modules made by LG, and work on the solar project should be finished in October. Once it is commissioned, the system will provide Westgate CJDR with more than 129-megawatt hours of clean energy a year that they will sell to Progress Energy as part of the utility's SunSense Commercial Solar PV Program. This is the first car dealership to take part in the SunSense program.
"This is a big step for us, and it means lot for us to be on the forefront of sustainable energy among car dealers," said Ehsan Khani, Owner at Westgate CJDR. "Much like hybrid cars and electric vehicles are the future of the automobile industry, solar power is part of the future of energy. It's our sincere hope that other dealerships see the benefits and follow suit."
Aside from the financial and environmental benefits, the project will serve as a billboard for solar power for thousands of airline passengers each week. Planes taking off and landing at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport will offer a clear view of the solar array, since the dealership is located near the northern end of the runway.
"We love seeing new types of industry embrace solar power, and it's a great opportunity for Westgate Chrysler Jeep to make their mark," said Bob Kingery, CEO and co-founder of SEM. "It's even better when those industry leaders are located where everyone can get a good view of the system that's helping them save money on long-term energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint."
Progress Energy's SunSense Commercial Solar PV Program is designed to encourage the development of renewable energy by offering a premium price for solar power developed on commercial rooftops. The utility has more than 200,000 kW of renewable energy under contract in North Carolina to help it meet the requirements of the state's renewable portfolio standard. The law, passed in 2007, requires utilities to generate a percentage of their retail electricity sales from renewable energy resources.
About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management (southern-energy.com) is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. A certified B Corp, SEM's mission is to have a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and to build a sustainable triple-bottom-line company. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and now employs a team of about 100 sustainable energy professionals. SEM is consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally, and is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011). SEM also received the City of Raleigh 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All.