Solar-electric modules mounted on the canopies above the pumps convert sunlight into clean electricity and are expected, annually, to generate almost 50% of the electricity required for the station’s fuel pumps, lights, and appliances. Since the station’s opening last September, the PV system has generated more than 40 megawatt-hours of electricity and offset almost 24 tons of carbon dioxide.
Besides providing renewable electricity for the station, the sun also serves the retail store, an unassuming 2,000-square-foot building that is anything but typical. Large windows on the storefront admit an abundance of natural light during the winter months. A centrally located thermal storage wall made of masonry minimizes interior temperature swings, and helps keep the interior comfortable while reducing reliance on mechanical heating and cooling systems. In the summer, simple passive cooling strategies, like awnings that shade the windows, keep the sun at bay and keep the store at a refreshing 70°F.