Kyocera Solar Modules Power "The Greenest Eatery In North America"

Smokey’s Tavern, Electric Vehicle ChargePoint® Station and Restaurant Delivery Vehicle are Powered by Clean, Renewable Solar Energy

imageIf you’re driving through New Jersey and are hungry for a thin-crust, brick-oven pizza and your electric vehicle needs a charge, Kyocera Solar has the ultimate dining recommendation: Smokey’s Brick Oven Tavern in Vernon, N.J., the “Greenest Eatery in North America,” according to owner Bruce Zaretsky.

Smokey’s is uniquely qualified to make such a claim due to its ability to meet the majority of its electricity needs from the renewable energy of the sun, generated by a 245kW Kyocera solar module array ground-mounted in an adjacent field. Installed in October 2012, the Kyocera PV system and SMA Power inverter provide the electricity needed to power the 10,000-sq.ft. restaurant’s lighting, refrigeration, cooling and gourmet food smokers.

When Zaretsky first installed the 245kW Kyocera PV system, it provided more than 100 percent of the restaurant’s power needs. When he realized that the high-efficiency Kyocera modules generated more power than he anticipated and that he was selling the excess power generated back to the grid, he was inspired to install a twin power point ChargePoint® station and put the excess solar power to another smart green use: charging electric vehicles (EVs), a free perk to EV drivers who eat at the restaurant. He even uses an all-electric Nissan Leaf for restaurant deliveries, which is charged by the Kyocera modules as well. With these significant additional electric loads, the system now supplies about 70 percent of his total electrical use.

“I consider my restaurant to be the greenest restaurant in North America because the majority of our electric needs are solar-powered, providing enough energy for my restaurant, my delivery vehicle and my customers’ electric vehicles,” said Zaretsky. “The Kyocera panels and SMA inverter have operated flawlessly, and the system has exceeded my expectations.”

Zaretsky is so pleased, in fact, that he’s in the process of adding additional modules to the PV system, this time on the building’s roof. “That should get me closer to providing 100% of my energy needs through solar,” he stated.

At smokeystavern.com, a Green Energy Dashboard summarizes solar energy production, consumption, and any excess renewable energy sold back to the grid.

“Kyocera is delighted that our reliable solar power solution has helped Smokey’s to maximize its go-green strategy and further minimize its carbon footprint,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “This serves as an excellent example of how solar can help businesses reliably reduce costs and energy consumption. We hope Smokey’s starts a trend in which people will support restaurants that go green and let customers charge EVs for free while enjoying a great meal.”