Basking in the hot Texas sun along the interstate in San Antonio is the Rush Truck Center and Peterbilt dealership—the premier destination for the commercial vehicle industry. They recently took a giant step toward increased energy efficiency and a leaner carbon footprint with the installation of a new carport solar project.
In June, Rush Enterprises installed a carport solar project at the dealership, which sells both new and used heavy- and medium-duty trucks and aftermarket parts. These carports hold over 3,500 solar panels and provide shade and protection from the elements, including extreme heat and hail. This new carport will protect 181 Peterbilt trucks.
Built and managed by the Big Sun Community and CPS Energy, the installation at the Peterbilt dealership hosts the largest Big Sun Community Solar site to date. The installation includes 19 SMA CORE1 inverters and 3,586 Mission solar panels.
Rush Enterprises purchased its solar system through the Big Sun Community Solar Program. This initiative installs solar panels, mainly in commercial parking lots, to create huge covered carports.
“When looking for inverters that could support the 5MW Big Sun project across 12 different locations, SMA was the obvious choice,” said Andrew Wood, Vice President of Operations with Big Sun Community Solar. “Having a good range of small to medium inverters that we could mount on the Big Sun Carports made design and installation easy. From price to reliability we have been very happy with the choice.”
Big Sun allows customers who rent or don’t have optimal rooftop sunshine to participate in solar generation by purchasing and owning their own panels. This option offers a viable solution to individuals and businesses who may otherwise feel like they can’t take advantage of participating in traditional solar programs. In exchange for buying the solar panels, the customers receive automatic credits on their power bills every month for the next 25 years.
In the case of Rush Enterprises, this new system will lower its CPS Energy bill by several thousands of dollars per month. The panels do more than lower costs, however, as they represent part of Rush Enterprise’s ongoing effort to increase the use of alternative energy.
“Installing solar carports at our Peterbilt dealership allowed us to protect our new vehicle inventory from the elements and makes it easier for everyone in the San Antonio community to own solar,” said Derrek Weaver, executive vice president of Rush Enterprises.
The installation sends 1.8 million kilowatt-hours to the grid per year, which can power approximately 125 homes. It also provides an estimated 766,640 kWh annually to the dealership.