BP Solar Converts Arizona Convenience Store to Solar Power

November 21, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

BP Solar (Linthicum, MD) converted a convenience store in Tucson, AZ to solar energy in an effort to demonstrate some of the real world applications of photovoltaic technology. Solar energy will now provide approximately 10 percent of the electricity required to operate the BP-owned ARCO am/pm convenience store.

Conversion of the am/pm to the use of solar power is part of BP Solar's worldwide “Plug In The Sun" project demonstrating every-day applications of solar technology. The convenience store has been retrofitted with an array of 168 BP Solar polycrystalline solar modules mounted atop the pump island canopy to provide electrical power directly to the facility.

Tucson Electric Power will continue to provide the store with the bulk of its electrical needs but the new solar project will generate up to 17 kilowatts of usable electricity during peak sun hours, enough to light the inside of the store and operate some equipment, or the equivalent of satisfying all the electrical needs of five typical Tucson homes. According to BP, the cost of converting the Tucson site to supplemental solar electricity was approximately $130,000.

“Solar energy is unique among sustainable resource technologies in being all green", stated Harry Shimp, CEO of BP Solar. “Here in Tucson, BP is really demonstrating its commitment to reducing global emissions."