Alabama’s first solar gas station opens in McCalla

Solar powered convenience store in Alabama
Solar powered convenience store in Alabama
Staff at The Store in McCalla, Alabama with the LEED certificate and newly installed solar panels. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Alabama’s most eco-friendly  convenience store, just got greener  with the installation of a state of the art solar powered energy system by Birmingham-based Eagle Solar and Light.

Solar panels behind The Store in McCalla. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

The Store, owned by Wadsworth Oil, located off exit 104 on Interstate 59 in McCalla, Alabama ( 6663 Old Tuscaloosa Highway), is the first and only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) convenience store in Alabama.

LEED certified buildings incorporate energy-reducing and ecologically-friendly design and materials. It is the industry standard for green building certification.

“The only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) convenience store in Alabama has added solar,” said Jim Wadsworth, owner of Wadsworth Oil. “This will result in our store being more energy efficient, lowering our energy costs and working toward a cleaner environment as we serve our customers.”

Drone shot of the solar installation at The Store in McCalla. Photo from Eagle Solar and Light.

According to Eagle Solar and Light, the newly installed solar power energy system at the convenience store in McCalla will bring significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Here are their estimates:

Financial information:

Estimated Annual Production: 30,991 Kilowatt Hours (kWh)
Average Monthly utility savings: $318
Utility savings over 15 years: $57,238
Net Cost: $21,089 (After tax incentives and tax credits)

Lowering Carbon Footprint:

Annually, Green House Gas Emissions reduced: 23 Metric Tons of CO2
Over a 15-year period, Green House Gas Emissions reduced: 346 Metric Tons of CO2

This is the equivalent of:

Gasoline: 2,594 gallons/year, 38,917 gallons/15 years 
Average Home: 3 homes/year, 45 homes/15 years
Trees Planted: 591 trees/year, 8,868 trees/15 years
Rail Car of Coal: .126 rail cars/year, 2 rail cars/15 years

“We are pleased to be a part of this project and to provide advanced solar energy solutions to Wadsworth Oil, said Joe Bennett, Jr.,” President of Eagle Solar and Light. “We strive to meet the goals of every customer that we serve. In this particular case, the use of an Aerocompact ground mount was crucial for the final design and implementation of solar for The Store.”

“By being innovative with our design, and taking advantage of the natural features of the land behind the main building, we were able to achieve the maximum amount of solar panel density possible without having to disturb any of the landscape surrounding the property.”

The Store in McCalla, Alabama. The solar panels are the back of the store. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

News about Alabama’s first solar powered convenience store comes on the heels of a residential solar panel company based in South Korea’s announcement last week that it is making a $28 million investment in Madison County. LG Electronics plans to establish an advanced solar module assembly plant at its 48-acre campus in Huntsville. The investment is expected to create 160 jobs, which will bring its workforce to 400.

To learn more about Eagle Solar and Light visit their website at: https://eaglesolarandlight.com

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.