Case Study: Jay's Green Garage

Case Study: Jay's Green Garage

Fat Spaniel Web view enables Jay Leno to track energy production and environmental statistics with real-time and historical data from any desktop.

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Concern for the environment led TV talk show host Jay Leno to power the huge garage housing his collection of classic vehicles using renewable energy. To track how much energy was being generated, Leno wanted a way to monitor and display system performance.


Late night TV celebrity Jay Leno lives large. His famous collection of 150 vehicles, ranging from antique motorcycles to mid-twentieth century hot rods, fills a 17,000 square foot building in Burbank, California. The energy needed to heat, cool, and operate this private auto showroom and restoration facility is significant. While saving money on utilities may not be a prime concern for the well-heeled talk show host, Leno is truly concerned about the environment, and intent on doing his part to be green.

“One of the coolest features about the system is the Fat Spaniel Technologies Web monitor. Everyone at the Green Garage can see, right there on a computer screen, the energy those solar modules are producing.”

Ben Stewart — Popular


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Phase one of the green project took place in April 2007 when a PacWind Delta II verticalaxis wind turbine was installed alongside the garage. Although the turbine can generate 10 kilowatts with a 28mph wind, this was far from the power needed to run the entire facility.

Phase two saw the installation of 270 200-watt General Electric solar modules on the roof, producing up to 54 kilowatts of DC power. A Xantrex inverter converts the DC from the panels into AC power. The grid-tie array delivers enough energy to power eight to ten homes.

Phase three provided the monitoring capabilities to measure the performance of the renewable energy system. Fat Spaniel Technologies’ service enables remote monitoring of the system over the Internet from any Web browser. Leno simply logs into the Fat Spaniel Web site—usually from a computer located in the office of the garage. He is able to see real-time and historical information on how much electricity is being generated, CO2 offset values, weather conditions that affect system production, and environmental benefit statistics.


While the classic cars are the star attraction at the garage, the monitor displaying renewable energy output is no less popular with visitors and Leno himself. The ability to view performance makes the system—and the benefits to the environment—very real. General Electric estimates that the installation will offset nearly 3 million pounds of CO2 over its 25 year lifetime, the equivalent of taking 200 cars off the road.