Commercial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 11, 2019

Solar - two ways - at Wawa in NJ

Wawa announced it will complete solar installations at 93 of its convenience stores by the end of 2020.  While a majority of the installations will be owned and operated by SolareAmerica, a small number will be owned by Wawa. The plan was announced a few weeks after the retail chain confirmed plans to double the number of Tesla charging stations at the stores during the same time.

SolareAmerica will own 85 of the installations. Wawa has agreed to purchase the energy supplied by the panels for 20 years and will get credit for any excess energy that gets fed back into the regional grid. Wawa also plans to own eight of the canopy installations.

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Matt Kesling, a Wawa official, said the company wants to try both methods of producing solar and see which makes more sense. For now, the company embraced the power purchase agreements with SolareAmerica as the primary method because they do not require up-front costs from the company. “We wanted to test the waters,” Kesling said. The company said it will also consider installations at its headquarters and beverage facility, both in Pennsylvania.

  “The expansion of solar power to a total of 93 stores will make Wawa the second-largest retailer for kilowatts installed in New Jersey,” said Brian Schaller, chief real estate and fuel officer for Wawa, in a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We will have the most solar locations of any fuel retailer of any corporation in New Jersey.” 

Installations have been completed on canopies at two stores, with new systems set for to range from Bergen to Cumberland Counties. The Inquirer’s report noted that the rapidly expanding convenience-store chain, based in Delaware County, is making a push into New Jersey because of that state’s commitment to solar energy under Gov. Phil Murphy. The program will also take advantage of federal tax credits of 30% for solar installations that will start expiring at the end of this year and wind down through 2022.  

 

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