Waiting for the Sun

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Waiting for the Sun

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- BP plc unveiled its first solar powered Arco am/pm convenience store California as part of an investment the company is making in Southern California.

Not only will BP invest in new retail sites, but also additional jobs will be created in the next five years as the company expands its presence in Southern California with state-of-the-art fueling centers and convenience stores. All of the new facilities will utilize solar energy and all will sell cleaner-burning fuels.

BP currently operates or franchises more than 1,200 Arco and am/pm stores in California, some of which are under renovation to modernize older facilities.

The inclusion of solar power at new am/pm units is part of BP's worldwide effort to demonstrate that energy-related business needs can be met while minimizing environmental impact.

"In announcing the inclusion of solar power, BP is clearly defining its local commitment to reducing global emissions while setting new standards for the industry to follow," said J.R. Thomas, senior vice president for the London-based oil company's West Coast retail operations. "Our retail investment in Southern California will help reshape the future of the local industry and is clearly in line with our aim of improving the environmental impacts of our activities."

The new solar stations will feature solar panels atop pump island canopies providing enough energy to supply approximately 20 percent of the site's overall energy needs. That equates to 16 kilowatts of clean electric power, enough to supply the electrical needs of four average homes.

The BP-developed solar modules are installed on the top of the island canopy. The 108 photovoltaic panels are arrayed to provide electricity to help run the station's fuel dispensers and exterior lighting. BP Solar manufactured the solar panels at its facility in Fredrick, Md., one of nine manufacturing plants that BP has around the world.

California has a solar rebate program available to California homeowners and businesses to promote the use of renewable solar energy.