Drive Sunshine event introduces Volt, solar leasing

Drive Sunshine event at SkyFuel todayThe public and SkyFuel employees will have a chance to test drive the Chevy Volt and learn about installing solar at their homes today.

The Renewable Energy Initiative is hosting another Dive Sunshine event at the SkyFuel headquarters at 18300 West Highway 72 in Arvada, Colo. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TREI is promoting electric vehicle and solar energy adoption through its Drive Sunshine initiative by offering demonstrations and education sessions at businesses throughout Colorado. Interested companies invite TREI to host Dive Sunshine events at their locations and the organization lets employees test drive electric cars and explains solar options.

The Drive Sunshine events have been popular at businesses along Colorado's Front Range, said TREI advisory board chair Ken Beitel.

The events are lunchtime gatherings for corporate employees, their families and anyone from the public who wants to learn more about electric vehicles and solar energy. The events are an education campaign to let people know about electric vehicles and solar and just how practical and affordable both can be.

“When employees decide to add solar to their homes, the Volt becomes a zero-emissions vehicle,” Beitel said. While that’s great for the environment, TREI is also letting employees know that it’s good for their pocketbooks as well. The Volt doesn’t cost much more than an average new car. But the expense of fueling it is dramatically lower – pennies on the dollar.

“While we’re at the events, we also do a solar briefing,” Beitel said.

The solar education has been particularly successful, he said. “Not many people are aware of solar leasing options.”

Solar leasing programs allow homeowners to install solar with no upfront costs and lock in their utility bills for the 20-year term.

The Volt test drives are also inspiring people. Beitel said they had an event at the American Lung Association last month. “And last week there was a shiny new Volt in the employee parking lot,” he said.

Demand for the events is growing, Beitel said. TREI has several scheduled in the Denver metro area, Boulder and Fort Collins. The October events are being held in coordination with Denver Metro Clean Cities.

Beitel said his organization is working with corporate sustainability directors on the programs because they can have a major impact on one of the largest sources of corporate greenhouse gas emissions – the employee commute.

The event at SkyFuel today isn’t just about offering electric vehicle and solar solutions to corporate employees, it’s also about educating the public on what SkyFuel does. The company builds concentrating solar plants between 10 and 100 megawatts with energy storage capabilities in molten salts.

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