This is an excerpt from a recent Marshall Independent story by Deb Gau.
Over the past few months, Heather Westman said, there have been plenty of questions from the community about the solar panels going up behind the Kruse Motors dealerships in Marshall.
“It’s been really positive. The biggest question has been whether they belong to the hockey arena, or to the city, or us,” said Westman, dealer at Kruse Buick GMC in Marshall.
Although they are in the same neighborhood as the Red Baron Arena and Marshall High School, the two rows of solar panels running behind the dealerships are part of Kruse Motors. Since the beginning of the January, they’ve been helping to generate electricity for Kruse Ford Lincoln and Kruse Buick GMC.
The solar panels at Kruse Motors can generate about 236 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power about 40 homes. It was sized so that most of the electricity it generates will be used by the business. “It wasn’t designed to put us off the grid,” Westman said, but it will definitely help with energy costs.
“For us, it’s a huge cost savings,” Westman said. Being more energy-efficient also helps make it easier to provide services to customers, like the car wash at the Kruse Ford Lincoln dealership, she said. The car wash at the Kruse Ford Lincoln dealership is a plus for customers, but it also requires a lot of energy. The power generated by the solar panels will help with electrical costs for things like the car wash and outdoor lighting, which is another big use of energy for a car dealership, Westman said.
Westman said the solar panels are a new addition to several energy-efficiency measures already in place at the Kruse Motors dealerships in Marshall. For example, the dealership offices use sensors instead of light switches to control when the lights go on.