Three Acres of Arrays: GM Moves Closer to Solar Goal

General Motors will soon up its renewable energy use with three acres of new solar arrays that will be operational this fall in Michigan.

Our processing center in Swartz Creek and engine plant in Flint 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.

When the projects are complete, we 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 landfill gas and biomass energy use.

The new installations bring us closer to reaching our commitment to increase renewable energy use globally to 125 megawatts by 2020.

According to our global renewable energy manager, Rob Threlkeld, we’ve realized the benefits of renewable energy since we installed our first solar array on one of our facilities back in 2006.

“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,” he said.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 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.

Our other U.S. solar installations include:

  • 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 516-kilowatt installation at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan’s largest ground-mount solar array.
  • A 900-kilowatt rooftop array on its Fontana, Calif. parts distribution warehouse.
  • 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.

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