BOSTON — General Motors is increasing its renewable energy use with 3 acres of new solar arrays at two Michigan facilities, according to a press release.
The Flint Engine Plant and the Swartz Creek Processing Center will feature 150-kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays expected to generate a combined 400,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year to the facilities’ grids. That is equivalent to the annual energy use of 25 homes.
After the projects are completed this fall, GM will house more than 38 megawatts of solar power at 13 facilities around the world and more than 60 megawatts of renewable energy globally when combined with its landfill gas and biomass energy use.
The new installations bring GM closer to reaching its goal to increase renewable energy use globally to 125 megawatts by 2020.
“Ever since our first solar array in 2006, GM has realized the benefits of renewable energy,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global renewable energy manager. “Not only does it reduce our emissions and lessen our dependence on petroleum, it makes a statement about the role businesses can play in securing a cleaner energy future.”
GM announced its plans for the installations late last month in Boston at the annual PV America East Expo, a conference bringing together professionals, manufacturers and service providers in the photovoltaic energy industry.
Conference organizers Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association recognized GM with a Project of Distinction Award – the highest achievement for a photovoltaic solar energy project – for the integrated solar microgrid system at the company’s plant in Baltimore.
According to SEIA, GM leads all automakers in the number of solar installations in the U.S. and ranks among the top U.S. corporate solar users in 2013 and 2012. It named GM a “Solar Champion” for the company’s significant impact on establishing a strong solar industry.
GM’s other U.S. solar installations include:
A 516-kilowatt installation at Detroit- Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan’s largest ground-mount solar array.
A 350-kilowatt ground-mount array at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich.
A 49-kilowatt ground-mount array at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.
A 1.8-megawatt installation at Toledo Transmission, Ohio’s largest rooftop array.
A 1-megawatt array at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. distribution center, the nation’s first 1-megawatt public solar project.
A 900-kilowatt rooftop array on its Fontana, Calif. parts distribution warehouse.
For more information on GM’s environmental commitment visit its web page at www.gm.com/environment — Rhonda Sanders