The unique project will create the only dealership in the state powered by the sun.
Colonial Nissan has begun construction on a one-of- a-kind solar superstructure atop their building on Route 29 in Charlottesville. The unique project will have a roof consisting of 480 solar panels, which will produce over 214,000 kWh annually and will generate 93% of the electricity needed to power the dealership.
Carter Myers Automotive, a local family and employee-owned business and Colonial Nissan’s parent company, has always had a focus on giving back and helping the people in their community, which includes doing what they can to protect the environment around them. When the Colonial Nissan building was constructed in 2014, they included energy-efficient LED lighting and electric vehicle charging stations. Once complete, the new 163kW solar array will reduce Colonial Nissan’s CO2 emissions by 191 tons annually.
“We see investments like this as our corporate responsibility and believe in sustainable energy. It’s also good business to reduce energy load and costs,” said Liza Borches, President and CEO of Carter Myers Automotive. “We’re already the number one all-electric Nissan LEAF dealer in Central Virginia. Expanding upon our sales of environmentally friendly vehicles and focusing on internal sustainability is the next step forward.”
Wanting to incorporate solar into their facility but having limited roof space, Colonial Nissan collaborated with leading solar energy firm Sun Tribe Solar to design the unconventional garage superstructure which will not only house the solar array, but also serve as shelter from the weather to vehicles parked below. Sun Tribe Solar is also providing the engineering and construction services for the solar energy system.
“Our team lives for projects like this,” said Taylor Brown, Co-founder of Sun Tribe Solar. “You have a forward-thinking company that realizes the economic and environmental benefits of going solar, but doesn’t have the availability of a typical roof space or ability to use land for a ground mounted system. To be able to work with Colonial Nissan on this solution that is clearly outside the box and help them realize their clean energy future, despite the challenges, is what Sun Tribe Solar is all about. We are excited to see it come to life and hope that it encourages other businesses in the area to follow Colonial Nissan’s lead.”
Construction on the Colonial Nissan solar array is expected to be completed in June of 2018. In addition to the new solar energy system, Colonial Nissan now offers the all new 2018 Nissan LEAF, an entirely electric car which boasts 90 miles of travel on just a 30-minute charge.

About Colonial Nissan

Colonial Nissan is a proud part of Carter Myers Automotive, a family and employee-owned business serving Central Virginia since 1924. The Nissan franchise was originally located on Main Street in Charlottesville and moved to Route 29 in the mid-eighties as part of Colonial Auto Center. In 2014, CMA built a new, state-of-the-art facility that included electric vehicle charging stations and the most advanced automotive service equipment available. Colonial Nissan is a Virginia State Inspection station with ASE and Nissan Certified technicians, including EV Specialists.

About Sun Tribe Solar

Sun Tribe Solar is a leading solar energy company based in Charlottesville, VA. The Sun Tribe team has over 550MW of renewable energy design and installation experience and has worked with organizations such as the University of Virginia, Carilion Health System, and Northrop Grumman to help them achieve their renewable energy goals. Sun Tribe Solar is one of the fastest growing private solar energy companies in Virginia and is a fully insured, Class A Alternative Energy Systems contractor licensed in the Commonwealth. For more information on how Sun Tribe Solar can help strengthen your financial operations while reinforcing your brand’s commitment to sustainability, please visit