One Tiffin business is looking at alternative energy as a way to cut its footprint and hopefully costs.
Coppus Motors in Tiffin has partnered with Solscient Energy of Toledo to install a solar array on the car dealership's roof. John Coppus, president of Coppus Motors, said they are proud to be part of the project.
"To watch the whole thing come together, it's a work of art really," he said. "It's neat to be part of something that is a cutting-edge technology. And to go green and help the environment, we're happy to be part of that."
PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO
Jacob Parkhurst (left) and Dillon Schwanbeck install solar panels on the roof of Coppus Motors.
Matt Longthorne, co-founder of Solscient, said this is the company's sixth installation, many of which have been for small businesses in Toledo.
These panels are some of the first in Seneca County and Coppus Motors is one of the first auto dealerships in Ohio to use the technology.
"I'm not aware of any others," Longthorne said.
He said Coppus Motors is to have about 7,000 square feet of panels which are to generate about 30 percent of the business' overall energy requirements - the equivalent of powering 14 homes. The system is expected to last for more than 30 years.
While a solar project can be costly up front, incentives and grants - such as the one Coppus Motors took advantage of through the Ohio Department of Development - can help make the projects affordable to small businesses.
"With the incentives that are available, it's a very quick pay off on the initial investment," Longthorne said.
Installation was performed by Romanoff Electric of Toledo and J.B. and Co. Roofing of Tiffin and excavation work was done by Jeff Hayman Excavating Inc. of Tiffin.
Longthorne said Solscient is getting inquiries from many businesses interested in alternative energy.
"More and more people, like John, are intrigued by the technology and want to do the right thing from an environmental standpoint and also want to take advantage of cost reductions on their electricity bill," Longthorne said. "With those things, we've had a lot of interest from our customers."
Longthorne said the system should be fully operational sometime next week, but Coppus said people driving down Market Street are beginning to take note.
"They say it's really a sight to see," he said.