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A New England shop will harness the sun to power its facility in a move it says will generate a profit in about five years. Keenan Auto Body is installing a solar power system at its Middletown, Del., location as part of the Pennsylvania-based multi-site operator’s “Green Initiative,” Keenan Vice President and COO Michael LeVasseur announced. The panels are expected to produce about half the energy the shop will need in a year.
A total of 248 Poly-Crystalline solar panels will be installed by the
completion of the project: 43 panels will be installed in the front of
the building, and the remaining 205 will be installed in a half-acre
field directly behind the collision repair facility. The solar power system will be the largest in the state when it’s completed, Keenan claims.
“This system will conservatively generate 75 kilowatt hours per year,
just about half of the energy needed to run the 16,000-square-foot
Keenan facility,” said William Rawheiser, president of Wise Power
Systems, the company installing the system.
Keenan says it will be the only collision shop in Delaware using solar
power and is one of just a handful of body shops throughout the
U.S. using the energy source. LeVasseur noted that each year, the solar panels will provide between 90 and 120 Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) – government-issued, saleable certificates given to companies that generate "green" power.
“These credits are sold back to the power company at a current value of
$200 each,” he said. “You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure
out that we should recoup our investment and start making money with
the system within just five years.”
As part of the Green Initiative, Keenan’s nine locations are also switching to DuPont Cromax waterborne paint. The Middletown shop plans to begin using solar power on Aug. 19.
Founded in 1952 by Joseph T. Keenan and acquired in 1979 by his son Donald J. Keenan, current CEO, the family-owned collision center has become one of the largest non-dealer, multi-shop operations in the Northeast region with nine shops.
For more information, visit www.KeenanAutoBody.com.