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Fitzgerald Auto Mall Opens New Solar Canopy

VIPs including Jack Fitzgerald, center and Maryland Energy Administration Director, Mary Beth Tung (third from right) at the ribbon cutting.

Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Gaithersburg built a 275,385-square-foot garage which features a 2,475-panel roof that will provide 80% of the auto mall’s electrical requirements. Fitzgerald received a $200 thousand dollar grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to help offset the installation costs. In addition to the solar panels, part of the grant helped to install four electric vehicle charging units. This new solar structure will generate an estimated 1,100 megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy per year and support the electric vehicle charging stations.

MEA Director Tung addresses the crowd at Fitzgerald Auto Mall solar canopy opening

“Things are not, and cannot be single use anymore. A phone isn’t just a phone, and this parking lot is no longer just a parking lot. This parking area not only protects vehicles from the elements, but also reduces the strain on the electric grid on hot, sunny days,” explained MEA Director, Mary Beth Tung. The grid gains, and the environment gains by the reduction in the production of greenhouse gasses,” concluded Tung.

The solar canopy will reduce the dealership’s carbon emissions by more than 19,000 metric tons over the 25-year life of the system. This clean energy installation will save Fitzgerald Auto$258,000 in the first year of system operation, the total savings over the 25 year life of the solar panels is approximately $5.2 million dollars.

MEA has funded the Parking Lot Solar Photovoltaic Canopy with EV Chargers Grant program since 2014, providing an average of $2 million dollars per year in funding. To learn more about this program, click here.