Environment

San Germán gets island’s 1st solar-powered gas station

Rafael Mercado-Ghigliotty, owner of the Mercado Texaco Service Station and EAA Deputy Director Juan Carlos Díaz inspect the recently installed solar panels.

The historic town of San Germán recently chalked up another significant feat by becoming the home of Puerto Rico’s first solar-powered gas station, a Texaco location that invested $269,500 to convert its systems, the Energy Affairs Administration said Friday.

The Mercado Texaco Service Station received $125,000 through the agency to purchase 210 solar panels and five inverters, to energize 100 percent of its daily operations.

“This project began as an initiative of the Gasoline Retailers Assocation, when I was still president-elect,” said Rafael Mercado-Ghigliotty, owner of the gas station. “We formed a committee to evaluate the viability of turning our gas stations ‘green.’”

Mercado-Ghigliotty said he hopes to see a return on his investment in four years and move on to retrofit more gas stations in coming years through an alliance with Melpro Solar and ADG.

“We see how renewable energy can coexist with petroleum and each serve a particular energy requirement,” EAA Executive Director Luis Bernal said. “We can now see how solar energy is now supporting the distribution of our transportation fuels. The world is undergoing an energy transformation. Our Puerto Rico is becoming more diversified.”

In coming weeks, the EAA will unveil several more green energy projects funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money the agency is in charge of assigning locally.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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