"Solar drives up at Wilsonville Sonic"
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon
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On Friday, Wilsonville dignitaries will gather at the Sonic Drive-In, not for the cherry limeade, but to celebrate the commissioning of a 45-panel solar array stretching over the parking area that will generate $6,700 worth of electricity annually.
The Sonic franchise owners Jess and Andrea Wetsel of The Wetsel Company, will sell the power generated by the panels back to Portland General Electric through the state's massively popular feed-in tariff pilot program. The 9.9-kilowatt system will result in regular payments from PGE under the program for the electricity generated.
The system was installed by Lake Oswego-based NW Photon Energy, which recently installed solar at a Papa Murphy's restaurant in Madras. The design uses clamps to hold the solar panels in place, eliminating the need to drill holes in roof tops or, in Sonic's case, the drive-in's canopy.
"The system is fast and efficient and the maintenance is minimal," said Kirk Cameron, NW Photon Energy's president.