Dubuque gas stations install solar arrays - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque gas stations install solar arrays

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Courtesy: Tim Mueller Courtesy: Tim Mueller
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

You can't see the newest additions to Waseem Serwar's gas stations in Dubuque, but he says they're already making a difference.

"I think it's affecting my business already," said Serwar about the new solar arrays that are now running on his two Dubuque locations.  "Lot of new faces I'm seeing. I think people are appreciating that I have the solar energy. So I'm seeing some new faces coming in and that's going to help the business."

It's a stark contrast, Solar Planet President Tim Mueller said.  A store that makes money selling a fossil fuel turning to alternative energy to help save some money.

"It's a natural fit if you ask me for a petroleum industry, a gas station/convenience store operator to do this, cause it does make that statement, and it reduces the damage that they're actually doing by selling the petroleum product," Mueller said.

But Serwar says his reason for installing the panels goes far beyond the money he'll save.

"Incentive, alone, wasn't attracting me at all. I was thinking about environment most of the time, too. I thought I should do it, and that will help environment, and in the meantime I will save some money too," he said.

Mueller says Serwar should see his investment pay off in 5-7 years.  But he'll also see other perks.

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development says homes and businesses with solar will sell twice as fast and will get about 20 percent more at the retail level," Mueller said.

Mueller added Serwar does plan to install more panels, and a solar powered battery backup, in case of emergencies.

"If the power goes out, generators are great until you need gas," he said. "And you need electricity to pump gas.  If you have a solar powered battery backup, you'll win the day."

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