Zarco 66 Station Turning To Turbine Power

C-store chain Zarco 66, of Kansas, is taking its forward-thinking ecological practices a step further by planning green technologies such as the installation of a small-scale wind turbine atop its fuel island canopy, the Lawrence Journal reported.

Lawrence City Commissioners gave tentative approval to Zarco 66 President Scott Zaremba’s plans to add a small-scale wind turbine, a set of solar panels, a green roof and a botanical garden to the Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels station in Lawrence, the newspaper reported.

“The vision is really to turn this site into a green energy gateway in the community,” Zaremba told commissioners.

Regional leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency have encouraged Zaremba to pursue the project, as it could be a way to educate consumers about new ways to use alternative energy. Catching people while they’re filling up seemed like a sound strategy, Becky Weber, director of the air and water division for EPA’s Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., told the newspaper.

“As people are refueling, they’ll be able to learn the benefits of everything from recycling to fluorescent lighting,” Weber said.

The Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels station has specialized in the sale of ethanol and biodiesel since February. Zaremba said he wants to place a wind turbine, about 8-by-7-foot, on top of the fuel island canopy. The turbine is a new small-scale model being developed by a company that hopes it will be feasible for use in individual homes that don’t have the space for a traditional wind turbine, the newspaper reported. The turbine would be highly visible to motorists traveling through that area each day.

“The idea, besides selling some earth-friendly fuels, is to educate everybody about what they can do in their lives,” Zaremba said.

Other features planned for the site:

  • Solar panels on the canopy covering the fuel pumps.
  • Replacing a traditional roof on an existing storage building with a green roof, which would include nearly 5 feet of soil to support a variety of plants designed to cut down on water runoff. The entire storage building — which is on the eastern end of the site — will be converted into a drive-through coffee kiosk.
  • Building a Japanese-themed rain garden in the city right of way just east of the storage building.
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