Following a solar daylighting project that has saved the company nearly $40,000 in energy costs, British American Auto Care, of Columbia recently completed a major solar conversion. It consists of the install of 185 solar panels on the workshop by Solar Solution LLC, of Washington, D.C., that satisfies approximately 95% of the shop’s electricity needs.

“The project, like the [previous] light tube project, makes business sense and will pay for itself in less than 10 years, at current electrical costs,“ said Brian England, president of British American Auto Care.

The new project is aimed at eventually making the workshop energy independent of the national grid.

Each of the 185 solar panels will operate individually, and the energy generated by them will be monitored by a computer system that tracks the amount of energy the workshop uses. The project was completed in time for the Maryland Tour of Solar & Green Homes, a campaign run by volunteers to educate and display the benefits of renewable solar energy.

As the shop’s owner, England has initiated several environmentally-friendly projects. The first such project was launched by the company in 2010 to provide natural daylighting for the facility via solar light tubes, as well as automated lighting sensors and controls.

England is optimistic about his latest move paying off. “The solar light tube project has proven to be a huge success.“ he said. “It had already paid for itself in about three to four years after installation.“