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Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac goes solar
solar pic 2
Since adding solar panels to their roof, Smith Chevrolet now generates 91 percent of their energy needs on site. - photo by Photo Contributed



Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac is heading into the New Year with an environmentally conscious approach, as the Turlock auto dealership recently connected with local solar energy installer JKB Energy to bring a rooftop solar system to their site.


Over the years, Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac co-owners Lee and Larry Smith have discussed goals of becoming more environmentally sensitive, they said. Investing in solar was the next logical step, so the pair moved forward with JKB Energy to install a 268kW solar system on the roof of their business, effectively eliminating over half of the building’s monthly Turlock Irrigation District bill and producing 91 percent of their energy to be used on site.


“JKB Energy is a local, established, high quality installer,” said Larry Smith. “We knew they’d make a great partner in our new venture into solar energy based on our years of experience here locally. We’re excited to be investing with a company we know will take care of us with upmost integrity and offer great advice along the way.”


Both Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac and JKB Energy are companies that have served Turlock for generations and have the city’s best interests at heart, said JKB Energy Director of Sales and Marketing Chad Cummings.


“The owners of both companies…take great pride in Turlock and the opportunity to be strong, local employers and industry providers,” he said. “This project is a wonderful example of exemplary professionals working together representing the solar and auto industries.”


In addition to helping Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac save on their monthly water and energy bills, the solar panels also produce a wide variety of environmental benefits by removing harmful chemicals from the air through their use, such as over 15 million pounds of the leading greenhouse gas, CO2, over 48,000 pounds of smog-creating NOx, nearly 44,000 pounds of SO2, which causes acid rain and nearly 3,000 pounds of particles that cause asthma. In addition, the new installation offsets environmental impact equivalent to planting nearly 130 acres of trees.


“As solar experts, we see the environmental benefits proven year after year on each of our projects,” said Cummings. “We take great pride in helping to facilitate these environmental benefits for our customers as well.”


With the energy generated through the new solar system, Smith Chevrolet-Cadillac can power their service shop equipment, compressors, indoor and outdoor showroom lighting and their customer car wash water recycling system. JKB Energy estimated that the company’s annual bill offset is $35,065.


With all of the benefits that come with solar power, Cummings expects more companies to begin “going green.”


“Given that Smith Chevrolet is now able to generate 91 percent of their energy needs on site and eliminate 56 percent of their TID bill in a green, environmentally-friendly manner, we certainly believe that solar is an ideal fit for many local area businesses,” he said.