Deal for dealers? Freedom Solar’s Three Boggus Auto Group Projects Highlight the Solar C&I Opportunity

Texas-based Freedom Solar has contracted with Boggus Auto Group to install solar panels at its three Rio Grande Valley dealerships – Boggus Ford-McAllen, Boggus Lincoln-McAllen and Boggus Ford-Harlingen.

“The Boggus Auto Group has long been the premier dealership in the Rio Grande Valley and is highly respected for its professionalism, integrity and exceptional customer service,” said Freedom Solar CEO Bret Biggart. “Now, the Boggus family is setting a new standard among South Texas auto dealerships by investing in onsite power generation. Freedom Solar is proud to partner with them to make their business more energy efficient and sustainable.

  • Freedom installed a solar panel capable of generating 499.95 kW of electricity on site at Boggus Ford-Harlingen, able to offset 61% of the dealership’s energy costs.
  • The Boggus Ford-McAllen system will produce 443.52 kW, offsetting 62% of its energy costs, and
  • the installation of 154.4 kW at Boggus Lincoln-McAllen will offset approximately 54% of the dealer’s energy expenditure.

Good deal for dealers

As solar power becomes more affordable, businesses of all kinds are turning to it, but neither is the automotive industry. Due to long hours and energy-intensive showrooms and grounds, energy costs can be a dealership’s third highest operating overhead, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). In addition, dealers are reporting an increase in electricity costs from utility companies, especially in areas already prone to brownouts and blackouts due to high electricity demand.

For these reasons, many dealerships are turning to solar power to mitigate their high energy costs and ensure the reliability of their electricity supply. The dealership’s decision to switch to solar power also demonstrates its commitment to environmental sustainability, which is valued by a growing segment of the public.

Taking note of this trend, Freedom Solar is specifically targeting the automotive industry, reaching out to dealerships across the country to advise them on the immense positive impact solar power can have on their business. In 2020, Freedom hired former SunPower National Automotive Industry Manager, Ryan Ferrero, a former longtime national dealership owner and importer, to create profitable and sustainable solutions for its automotive dealership customers. SunPower is the highest quality, most efficient solar panel on the market today, and Freedom Solar is the only SunPower Master Dealer in Texas.

Boggus Auto Group founder and owner Bob Boggus said several factors played into the decision to go ahead with the conversion to on-site power generation at his dealerships: local and federal financial incentives lucrative, testimony from dealerships in other parts of the state who have already transitioned, and the fact that each of the three Boggus dealerships has enough roof space to accommodate solar panels powerful enough to offset a significant percentage their energy costs. The Boggus family chose Freedom Solar as their solar contractor after a July 2021 presentation by Ryan Ferrero to the Texas Dealer Academy, a group of approximately 25 entrepreneurial dealers that meets several times a year.

“Ryan is a former car dealership; he knows the business and he clearly knows solar, Boggus said. “We already knew that Freedom Solar had a great reputation, and this presentation just reinforced it. Ryan gave us the confidence to come up with a specific plan and stick with it.

With the powerful incentives available to new users of solar power, there is no downside to car dealerships switching to solar power. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been a major factor in many Freedom customers deciding to go solar since 2020. As part of a broad effort to make the an Attractive Alternative to Traditional Electric Power, Congress Extended the 26% Solar Tax Credit Through 2022; by 2023, it will fall to 22%.

Many of the dealerships Freedom has worked with are pioneers of electric vehicles, and that’s certainly the case with Boggus Auto Group, which is optimistic about electric vehicle technology and that Ford is embracing it. They see solar power as part of their electric vehicle infrastructure and have moved to a new paradigm in which it no longer makes sense to get all their electricity from the grid – especially when recharging their new inventory. Ford electrics like the Mustang MACH E and the 2022 F-150 Lightning. On-site power generation puts the dealerships’ expansive rooftops to work.

“Bob Boggus is preparing for the future,” Biggart said. “He is an entrepreneur who understands that the move to solar power is inevitable for franchised dealers, and his timing for these installations is impeccable. The auto industry is now accelerating its move toward electric vehicles, Ford is a leading investor, and Bob is leading the way in South Texas.

“Solar panel installation has become a cost-cutting strategy for entrepreneurial auto dealerships and is growing rapidly among dealerships nationwide,” said Ryan Ferrero, director of Freedom Solar Automotive. “In the time it takes you to enjoy a cup of coffee, we can show you how solar power can both save overhead and save you money, today and in the future. future, as well as providing resilient savings that combat seasonal fluctuations in energy costs and meet emerging electric vehicle charging needs.

Ryan Ferrero will lead a workshop on electric vehicle infrastructure at the NADA 2022 convention in Las Vegas on Friday, March 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in room W230. In the workshop – designed for Master Dealers, General Managers, CPAs and Facility Managers – Ferrero will demystify solar power and explain how dealerships are turning electric vehicle charging and their rooftops into revenue-generating assets and move electricity from a fixed expense to a variable expense.

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Keywords: commercial

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