California Auto Dealer Equips Several Locations With Solar Installations

MBL Energy engineered and installed the systems, which are integrated with NantEnergy’s behind-the-meter SmartStorage systems.
Henry Hansel, President, Hansel Auto Group. Image courtesy of Hansel Auto Group

Hansel Auto Group has equipped eight of its auto group locations in Sonoma County, Calif., with solar plus energy storage systems, becoming the first auto dealer group in the state to resort to greener power for its facilities. The projects were installed in partnership with San Jose-based MBL Energy and Scottsdale, Ariz.,-headquartered NantEnergy.

The systems were engineered and installed by MBL Energy and total 1.6 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power, integrated with 567 kilowatt-hours of NantEnergy’s behind-the-meter SmartStorage systems. Combined, these installations are estimated to save the auto group up to $14.5 million over the next 25 years, while also preparing the firm for the expected growth of the electric vehicle market.

According to data from Auto Alliance and IHS Markit, 46.8 percent of the nation’s EV sales in 2018 were registered in California. More so, the state’s rate of adoption is accelerating, as per an analysis conducted by research firm Veloz, which reports that the state’s EV sales in the first quarter of 2019 surpassed last year’s first quarter by 13 percent.

Patrick Noon-Shiong, NantEnergy’s chairman, noted that other auto dealers will soon follow Hansel’s lead, especially since the federal government is in the process of phasing out the Investment Tax Credit for solar projects.