Bob Barman rebuilt the Highland Chevron gas station and Extra Mile convenience store in Beaverton, Oregon.
His goal being “net zero”, he has done a commendable job. He has installed more than 180 solar panels on top the pump station canopy and store roof, tapping sunlight to meet about a third of a typical gas station’s electricity needs.
Then installed a geothermal well that plunges 426 feet below ground, exchanging heat through groundwater. Naturally cool water helps run the Extra Mile’s bank of refrigerators. Water pipes gather heat that cooling units extract and store it far underground as hot water.
He used high-efficiency LED fixtures in almost every light fixture in the building, from the outdoor price signs to the depths of the “Beer Cave.”
By turning on all of these systems before the opening, the station built up a credit with Portland General Electric for pumping surplus electricity into the grid.
He installed a free electric-vehicle charging station outside and had the pump station canopy (the portion not covered by solar panels) covered in water-absorbing sedum plants to reduce polluted runoff to streams.
Chevron also gave Barman extra flexibility, including allowing him to sell biodiesel blends that the big oil company doesn’t make. Oh heart be still!
Barman figures he will cut down his $2000/month electric bill with all of the improvements.
Since most stations/convenience stores have not even attempted to go forward with efforts to get off of the grid such as Barman, they should start taking a look at it. I mean many of them had to re-do the tanks due to corrosion and/or law changes. So why not take the next step, at least go the solar and/or LED fixtures to help out their local communities?
Of course, Barman does not have a “net zero” station yet. Why? Well, of course, he is still selling gas/diesel. But for him, he is as close as he can get. Give this guy a standing ovation for one heck of a start in the right direction. He is a winner in my eye for looking towards the future with the right attitude.
What do you think? Is he at net zero?
Net Zero … as the green future unfolds.