Industry News | February 24, 2011

Sonic Franchise Unveils Solar System

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SONIC Drive-In franchise owners, Jess and Andrea Wetsel, announced the installation of the company’s first solar electric system on a SONIC Drive-In restaurant.  

The 45-panel, 9.9 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system can generate more than 11,380 kWh of electricity per year, making the Wilsonville, Oregon restaurant the first solar energy producer by a SONIC Drive-In franchise in the Pacific Northwest.

“We’ve recognized an environmentally friendly method of reducing our operating costs while reducing our carbon footprint,” says Andrea Wetsel of The Wetsel Company.  “This is a great step toward sustainability. With this system, we can eliminate approximately 8,648 pounds of CO2 emissions annually while producing clean, renewable energy,” Wetsel says.

The Wetsel Company’s solar initiative allows them to produce and sell electricity to Portland General Electric (PGE) through PGE’s Solar Payment Option, or solar “Feed-in-Tariff” program, established in 2009. 

Solar Payment Option customers receive payments from PGE for the electricity generated by their installation instead of receiving kilowatt-hour credits like Net Metering customers.

"Our system helps PGE meet its objectives of providing green power," Jess Wetsel says. "After evaluating the opportunity, we realized it makes good environmental sense and good business sense.”