Solar + SmartStorage® system to save an estimated $14.3 million over the next 25 years on Hansel Auto Group’s utility bills by reducing peak demand charges and offsetting energy usage. These installations are a critical step in preparing the auto industry and the state for growth in electric vehicles 


SANTA ROSA, Calif. and PETALUMA, Calif. September 20, 2019 – Hansel Auto Group (Hansel), together with MBL Energy and NantEnergy, today unveiled the installation of solar plus energy storage systems at eight of its auto group locations in Sonoma County, California. These systems were engineered and installed by San Jose-based MBL Energy and feature a total of 1.555 MW of solar PV integrated with 567 kWh of NantEnergy’s behind-the-meter SmartStorage® systems. The solar + storage systems will save the auto group up to $14.3 million over the next 25 years and help it to diversify its energy supply as it prepares for the expected growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market. Hansel is the first auto dealer groups in California to install solar with energy storage technology to support greener, more reliable power.

“Automakers the world over have made significant investments in EVs, with attractive EV options in new vehicle segments being rolled out every year,” said Henry Hansel, President, Hansel Auto Group. “At Hansel, we are committed to a sustainable future from the cars we sell to how we operate our dealerships. MBL Energy and NantEnergy share this commitment to renewable energy and together provide the ideal solar and battery storage technologies to take our auto group through the next quarter century and beyond.”

With 46.8 percent of the nation’s EV sales in 2018, California leads the nation in EV adoption, according to data from the Auto Alliance and IHS Markit.1.  In addition, the state’s rate of EV adoption is only accelerating with California’s EV sales for the first quarter of this year surpassing last year’s first quarter sales by 13 percent, according to nonprofit research firm Veloz.  Nationally, IHS Markit forecasts EV sales to reach U.S. market share of 7.6 percent, representing around 1.28 million units [vehicles], in 2026.2.

“California’s auto industry has recognized the outsized impact it can have on the environment and our quality of life with the transition to cleaner electric vehicles and supporting them with renewable sources of power,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman, NantEnergy. “We are proud to partner with MBL Energy to bring solar and energy storage solutions to Hansel Auto Group to help them meet the demand from California’s consumers and state regulators for cleaner transportation options and energy sustainability.”

Soon-Shiong further noted that other auto dealers soon may follow Hansel’s lead since the federal government is in the process of phasing out the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar projects. Commercial solar tax credits, which are currently at 30 percent, are scheduled to be lowered to 10 percent by 2022.

“While C&I solar installations can go a long way in reducing energy charges, it also offsets the burning of millions of pounds of fossil fuels for energy every year. Pairing solar with energy storage systems takes those savings to the next level by lowering demand charges, one of the fastest growing parts of utility bills for commercial facilities,” said Robert Laubach, CEO of MBL Energy. “Additionally, the savings that customers realize on their utility bills can be used to grow their business.”

NantEnergy’s U.S. C&I customers reduced their energy demand usage in 2018 by an average of 25 percent with the company’s solar and energy storage system, enabling these companies to invest their energy savings into other business priorities such as innovations in R&D or customer service. Last year NantEnergy dispatched 6.3 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity via a global fleet of energy storage systems.


About Hansel Auto Group

The Hansel family has a 169-year history in the business of transportation.  Henry Hansel has a long and rich association with the automobile industry that began in 1851 when his Great Grandfather, Joseph founded Hansel Pioneer Carriage Works.  Grandfather, Walter began selling cars in 1899 — before the turn of the century.  Father, Walter, opened his first Dealership in Vacaville in 1946.  In 1961 the family moved to Sonoma County and established its first automobile Dealership in downtown Santa Rosa and put down roots committed to community involvement.  By 1973, Hansel Ford was moved to 3075 Corby Avenue… the site of today’s Solar Ribbon Cutting Celebration.

Today, the leadership of the Hansel Auto Group is in the hands of Henry and his son Justin.  Together and with family, they have built the organization to nine Dealership locations representing nine automobile manufacturers plus the Collision Center and a Leasing Company with nearly 700 Employees in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.  It is by choice that they follow the lead of past generations in continuing this family legacy in the automotive or transportation industry.

The automobile business is more competitive today than at any time in its history.  When you shop for your next vehicle you will find a greater selection of makes, models and options than at any other point in the evolution of cars.  The Hansel Organization is a symbol of commitment to provide the community with the very best customer service, facilities, and product at all nine Dealerships.  The Hansel legacy is the bridge to understanding that to change for the better requires planning for the future.  Being an automotive industry leader means investing in the very best personnel and training, as well as building new facilities and the acquisition of equipment to service the automotive technology today and into the future.

The installation of the solar and energy storage projects being dedicated today is consistent with the Hansel heritage of commitment to the community, preserving the heritage of the area, improving the quality of life for residents and caring for the planet that we all inhabit.


About MBL Energy

With over 16 years of experience, MBL Energy has become a leader in the field of commercial solar design and installation.   With over 450 megawatts of Solar PV designed and installed throughout the United States, including installations of parking canopies, roof mount, DSA, ground mount, specialty projects, and trackers, MBL is looking forward to how the future of solar and business intersect.

MBL takes an innovative and efficient approach to meet the demands of small and large scale projects, both in the private and public sector. With in-house design, project management, and construction teams, MBL is able to adapt to the demands of an ever-changing solar construction industry, with efficiency and precision.  MBL is dedicated to early technology adoption, evidenced by their partnership with NantEnergy to provide battery storage to their customers.  They are also known for their uncompromising quality of materials and maximum efficiency to bring the industry superior structural integrity, and cost savings in a faster time to project completion.  Learn more at


About NantEnergy

NantEnergy’s innovative energy storage solutions are fundamentally changing the way people, businesses, and utilities generate, store, and use electricity. Based on proprietary zinc-air rechargeable battery technology, NantEnergy solutions cost less, last longer, and are far more environmentally friendly than lead-acid batteries and diesel generators. NantEnergy systems are the backbone for C&I energy management, remote microgrids, and reliable backup power to critical telecom infrastructure.

Coupled with renewable energy generation, such as solar panels, NantEnergy’s technology is the sole source of power for more than 200,000 people in villages across rural Indonesia and Africa, providing many with access to electricity for the first time. The company has replaced one million lead-acid batteries and eliminated the consumption of four million liters of diesel fuel. This same technology gives NantEnergy’s C&I customers significant reductions in their electricity costs—and in many cases, eliminating demand charges. Learn more at


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