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NAPPANEE -- After years of effort devoted to saving energy, McCormick Motors in Nappanee revealed Wednesday the results of its solar panel project, a collaboration with the Indiana Office of Energy Development and Goshen College to generate electricity for the dealership through alternative energy methods.
Over a year ago, Gordon Moore, vice president of McCormick Motors, approached Goshen College with questions about alternative technologies available to reduce the dealership's energy consumption. Through data developed by students in a three-week senior seminar course taught by Jerrell Ross Richer, associate professor of economics, the dealership applied and received an alternative energy grant to help supply solar panels.
The system includes 28 solar panels that will contribute to the dealership's goal of a 20 percent reduction in utility-provided electricity by 2010, and hopefully, added Moore, up to 50 percent by 2020. At 6.085 kilowatts, the solar panels are expected to generate more than 500 kilowatts per month -- enough electricity to power an average home.
Mayor Larry Thompson called the solar panel project a reinvention of the past, using the sun to provide for daily needs. "These are partnerships that have never happened before," said Thompson, and congratulated the dealership as an example of success in difficult times.
Currently, Moore is continuing the relationship with Goshen College by working with Evan Moyer and Edgar Diaz, two seniors who are completing an internship developing an energy resource Web site that provides area businesses with ideas to reduce energy consumption.
Although it seemed like a hard sell for a car dealership to become energy efficient, Moore was excited to say, "we're succeeding."