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Hertz to Install 16 Solar Power Systems

Hertz intends to install solar power systems at 16 car rental facilities by this fall, with plans to expand the program later on.

The rental company said it will retrofit the 16 facilities with a total of over 2.3 MW of solar photovoltaic systems, scheduled to be operational by the third quarter of this year.

After that, the company will look to install solar at more facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Hertz has 8,400 locations in 146 countries worldwide, and also operates the Advantage car rental brand at 26 U.S. airports.

Hertz piloted the solar power program in December, with a 1,018 panel, 235 kW system at Denver International Airport. That system is expected to produce 342,766 Kwh of AC output and will offset approximately 650,000 pounds of CO2 annually, Hertz said.

The other fifteen retrofits will be in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“Hertz leads the industry in sustainable practices,” said Richard Broome, Senior Vice President of Hertz.  “From our commitment to electric vehicles and other low emission vehicles to our implementation of reduced water usage and now our solar program, we are at the forefront of integrating sound environmental practices with pro-consumer service, efficiency and growth strategies.”

Rental car companies have been trying to out-do each other’s environmental initiatives for some time.

In 2008 Advantage said it would become the first all-hybrid car rental company in the U.S.

Enterprise Holdings, which operates Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and National Car Rental brands, has made a commitment to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent over the five years to 2015. Enterprise will invest more than $150 million over five years in following a set of internal sustainability guidelines, informing the building and retrofitting of more than 1,000 locations.

Enterprise and Hertz both began renting the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle within days of each other last month.

Enterprise is also offering the Nissan Leaf electric car in select markets and plans to introduce up to 100 all-electric sedans from Coda Automotive to car rental locations throughout 2011.

In November Hertz said that it too plans to offer Coda EV sedans in 2011, starting with 100 cars for its California rental fleet.

Hertz is also starting to offer the Leaf this year at select rental locations in the U.S. and Europe. It already offers a “Green Collection” in its U.S. fleet, including the Smart ForTwo, the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Altima hybrid, Cnet reports.

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