Texas-based Freedom Solar, a turnkey solar energy installer in Texas has completed a contract with Bob Tomes Ford for a major installation of solar panels at its McKinney dealership.
“Not only is this a landmark installation for the McKinney area, but it also monumental for our company as we expand our reach across North Texas and the rest of the state,” said Bret Biggart, Freedom Solar CEO. “Solar is becoming the energy choice of leading auto dealerships throughout Texas, and we look forward to continuing to provide these forward-thinking businesses with the most advanced solar solutions offering the highest return on investment.”
The installation at Bob Tomes Ford encompasses 506 high-performance SunPower solar panels on the dealership’s roof. The panels will produce more than 296,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar power annually, a 26% energy offset that will remove 209 tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year. This is equivalent to removing more than 45 cars from the road each year or enough energy to power 24 homes for a year. With a five-year payback period, the project is estimated to save Bob Tomes Ford more than $385,000 over the 25-year lifetime of the panels, or roughly $15,400 in utility savings per year.
In addition to the installation of solar, the dealership features several Energy Charging Stations for the hybrid vehicles offered by Ford.
As the first dealership in McKinney to go solar, Bob Tomes Ford had been contemplating the investment for some time before deciding to partner with Freedom Solar. The dealership recognized the urgency of purchasing the system before the federal investment tax credit (ITC) stepped down to 22% from 26% after the end of this year. In recent years, Tomes Auto Group has prioritized their sustainability measures and utility savings, starting with their commitment six years ago to use LED lighting throughout Brandon Tomes Subaru, also located in McKinney.
Additionally, the auto group has had a 20-year relationship with APPI, a Texas Auto Dealers Association endorsed energy broker, that has resulted in substantial energy cost savings.
“We are proud to be among the first dealerships in the DFW metroplex and the first in McKinney to invest in the future by implementing cost-effective, environmentally responsible energy alternatives into our dealerships,” said Bob and Brandon Tomes, co-owners of Tomes Auto Group. Brandon Tomes stated, “We believe our dealership reflects the values of the Ford and Subaru brands as it continues to shift towards hybrid and electric vehicles. Solar was a great solution that allowed us to incorporate higher sustainability standards while also increasing our utility savings.”
Despite COVID-19, Freedom Solar has seen an uptick in installations this year having recently closed their most successful Q2 to date with more than $13 million in revenue. The company cites the cause as an increased awareness of at-home energy usage and corporations seeking ways to save as the future of the workplace remains uncertain.
“A major motivating factor for our customers to go solar is the financial return,” said Biggart. “People are continuing to understand that solar is an investment that generates cash in a very real sense by producing kilowatt-hours of energy. No different than pulling oil out of the ground, it’s an ongoing annuity that allows homeowners and companies alike to fuel future investments.”