Underscoring the growth in the U.S. solar market, Hertz, the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand, said it wants to be positioned to be among the first to take advantage of widespread application of solar. Today, the company announced its commitment to install solar systems in its rental car facilities across the country, starting in Denver.
The first phase of the initiative calls for Hertz to retrofit 16 existing facilities with over 2.3 MW of solar PV systems. The systems are scheduled to be operational by Q3 2011.
Hertz reports that the program was piloted at Hertz’s Denver International Airport location last December. Hertz’s 1018 panel, 235 kW solar electric system in Denver is expected to produce 342,766 Kwh of AC output and will offset approximately 650,000 pounds of CO2 annually.
With 8,400 locations in 146 countries worldwide, the Hertz initiative has the potential to be a key commercial application of solar, Hertz says. As the first rental car company to invest in solar at this scale, the project is part of Hertz’s overarching strategy to invest in technology that will provide a competitive business advantage as well as support the future of transportation and mobility, Hertz said.
"Hertz is committed to reducing costs and to sustainable business practices. Investing in solar energy for these facilities makes good business sense," said Mark Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO. "We will now look to additional facilities in the US and internationally to further this important program. Once again, Hertz is leading the industry in our commitment to innovation."
Hertz said by the third quarter of 2011 it will complete construction of 15 additional facilities across the United States to further reduce its energy costs and offset Hertz's carbon footprint. Hertz is installing solar systems in facilities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
"Hertz leads the industry in sustainable practices," said Richard Broome, senior vice president of Hertz. "From our commitment to electric vehicles and other low emission vehicles to our implementation of reduced water usage and now our solar program, we are at the forefront of integrating sound environmental practices with pro-consumer service, efficiency and growth strategies."