Fastlane

July 28, 2011

General Motors Doubles Global Solar Commitment

Today, GM Ventures, General Motors’ investment arm, announced a $7.5 million investment in solar energy systems provider Sunlogics.

General Motors also announced a commitment to double its global solar output from 30 to 60 megawatts by the end of 2015.

Laid end-to-end, 60 megawatts worth of solar panels could reach from Detroit to Louisville, Kentucky and power a city of 10,000 homes. That’s the equivalent of using solar energy to run Hoboken, New Jersey for a full year.

“In the United States, 1.4 percent of our energy consumption comes from renewable resources, like solar,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Energy, Environment & Safety Policy. “Not only does renewable energy make good business sense, it helps us continue to reduce the impact our facilities have on the environment.”

General Motors has a legacy of notable solar installations:

•    The first solar array in California – GM’s Service Parts Distribution Center in Rancho Cucamonga – was the first solar project in the United States over 1 megawatt when it began operating in the fall of 2006.

•    The world’s largest rooftop solar installation is at our car assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain. It currently pulls in 12 megawatts of solar energy a year.

•    In addition to these installations, five of our facilities feature solar charging canopies on their grounds, including Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Baltimore Operations.

Not included in the 60 megawatts, but still a source of renewable energy, are the Green Zone solar charging canopies that Chevrolet dealerships can install on their property. A 12-space canopy will produce up to 36,000 kilowatt hours per year with the capacity to charge a Chevrolet Volt approximately 4,500 times. Any power not used to charge cars is re-directed back into the dealership.

Although our investment and solar output goal will help reduce our footprint, we realize there’s more to be done. We’ll complement these efforts with ongoing energy-efficiency tactics throughout our plants and non-manufacturing facilities.  The GM team is committed to sustainability, and because of that, momentum continues to increase.

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