Sixty-five high-lumen LED light fixtures tower above Butler Nissan of Macon's 8-acre site in Macon, Ga., lighting up the store with energy harnessed from the sun.
Those fixtures provide about 30 percent more light than the typical lamps at a dealership of that size, says Trey Jarrard, CEO of Renewvia Energy Corp., of Atlanta. They also use about half of the power conventional lighting would require. "The Butlers believe in a very vibrant and bright lot as part of the overall feel for their facility," he says.
The dealership, which is on pace to sell about 1,300 new and used vehicles this year, could afford to add more light because it generates much of its own power thanks to a Renewvia-designed 100-kilowatt solar array mounted on the dealership's roof.
Driving past large new solar farms in central Georgia piqued Marsh Butler's curiosity, but tax incentives and the prospect of controlling costs caused the co-president of Butler Auto Group in Macon to look seriously at solar and LED technology.
With interest rates and other costs likely to rise in the next five years, says Butler, "it just made financial sense for the long haul."