Fastlane

May 18, 2011

GM’s (Solar) Power Play in Baltimore

The city of Baltimore averages 105 sunny days a year, making it one of the East Coast’s best places to get a tan.

The city of Baltimore averages 105 sunny days a year, making it one of the East Coast’s best places to get a tan.

We guess this abundance of sunshine is one of the reasons why General Motors commissioned Constellation Energy to build a 1.3 megawatt solar array on the rooftop of the 2-mode hybrid and Heavy Duty transmission building at its Baltimore Operations plant.

This array is expected to generate 9 percent of the plant’s annual energy consumption and save approximately $330,000 during the life of the project.

“By harnessing solar energy from this array, GM will offset up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air per year—equivalent to the emissions from 216 passenger vehicles,” said Mike Robinson, vice president, energy, environment and safety policy for GM.

But this solar array is not the beginning, nor is it the end, of Baltimore’s environmentally friendly practices.

Oh, no.

Baltimore Operations is the first GM facility to be powered by renewable energy and be landfill-free. It earned zero-landfill status in 2007 by recycling, reusing or converting to energy all wastes from daily operations.

Last year, it won a Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award for showing commitment to sustainable practices with measureable results.

Hold on, it gets better.

GM is the first major U.S. automaker developing and manufacturing electric motors on American soil.

This will allow GM to personally monitor and manage the implementation of efficient production controls relating to the design, quality and performance of the motors.

Which cars will benefit from these home-produced electric motors you ask?

Several different plug-in electrics and hybrid vehicles from the GM product line will eventually house these Baltimore-built motors.

We realize making our facilities greener is a great way to help out our environment, but we also realize there are other ways we can be beneficial to the environmental front.

That is why the GM Foundation, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, donated $20,000 which will directly benefit the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Maryland Food Bank and the Wildlife Habitat Council.

This is how we use Baltimore sunshine to help our environment, while solidifying our commitment for high-quality products.

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