Group 1 Automotive, one of the country’s largest car dealership groups, has installed 10,000 solar panels on rooftops across its locations, with plans to add more this year.
The Houston-based auto group has 201 dealerships worldwide that sell nearly 35 car brands, including Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Dodge, and Honda. The company partnered with Austin-headquartered Freedom Solar Power to install the rooftop panels, Electrek reports.
“Dealerships often have ample roof areas to accommodate solar arrays powerful enough to offset a large percentage of their energy costs,” Freedom Solar Power national automotive manager Ryan Ferrero said, per Electrek. “The more auto dealers learn about solar power, the more they see it as an effective environmental, social, and business win-win strategy.”
While Group 1 Automotive hasn’t revealed where the panels are, it did say it plans to complete solar installations at 25 dealerships by the end of the year.
Solar power is an eco-friendly alternative to planet-warming energy sources like oil, coal, and gas. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, this power source has experienced an average annual growth rate of 24% in the last decade.
As solar expands, more and more industries are embracing rooftop solar projects at their locations.
For example, Public Storage, a self-storage company headquartered in California, is looking to implement rooftop solar projects at more than 130 of its locations to provide power for its facilities and residents. These initiatives are expected to deliver electricity to about 10,000 homes.
Over in Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City installed four solar canopies that will produce 8.3 megawatt-hours annually.
In a rare display of cohesiveness, commenters on the Electrek forum were widely supportive of the move.
“I’m not sure what took so long — this is a no-brainer, but as always, better late than never,” one person said. “Obviously, it makes even more sense as EVs become more and more popular — plug in a customer’s vehicle after any maintenance or for a prospective customer’s current car while they shop and test drive, etc.”
“Cheapest electricity you can get these days,” another commenter added. “A no-brainer so even car dealers could figure it out.”
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