LightWave Installs Solar on Crossville Truck Stop

Published March 23, 2011

"We hope one day to be the most eco-friendly truck plaza in the country," said manager Chris Smith.

On Tuesday, crews from LightWave Solar based out of Nashville began installing solar panels on the plaza's canopies.

Once it's completed, the quarter million dollar array will produce 47 kilowatts of energy each day.

The Eco Travel Plaza also features heating and air conditioning units for truck drivers. It allows them to turn their trucks off, saving cash while cutting down on carbon emissions.

"A truck driver burns a gallon of fuel an hour while on idle," said Smith.

The plaza also uses energy saving LED lights and has a list of other eco friendly improvements it hopes to make.

Ten years ago, a green gas station would have been an oxymoron.  But today, it's proof you can expect the unexpected when it comes to protecting the environment.

"It's reached out to businesses that you'd be surprised are going solar.  From moms and pops to big companies, solar is here.  It's here to stay," said Chris Davis with the Tennessee Solar Institute, which helped fund about $85,000 of the Eco Travel Plaza's project.

Across the state, the TSI is involved in about 111 projects.  It helps pay for solar projects using federal stimulus dollars.

Installers said about 70 percent of the Eco Travel Plaza's solar panel array was funded using tax credits and federal grant money.

The TSI and the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition provided support for the project.