Solar Array at Corvette Plant Drives GM to Lead in Solar Energy Use
DETROIT – General Motors leads the automotive industry in solar energy use in the United States, according to the Solar Means Business report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Continuing its investment in clean, renewable energy, the company will break ground later this month on an 850-kilowatt array at Bowling Green (Ky.) Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Corvette.
Bowling Green Assembly’s new array will be the largest solar installation by any automaker in Kentucky and will generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours of energy annually, enough to produce about 850 Corvettes.
“Corvette customers are passionate about their vehicles because of their design, technology and precision performance,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “Offering them a product that is partially built using green energy will be another proof point that they’re driving a true supercar.”
The Corvette features the greatest efficiency of any sports car on the market, delivering an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 29 mpg highway rating.
In addition to ranking as the No. 1 automotive user of solar, GM also ranks No. 20 of the top 25 solar-powered companies in the U.S. GM joined SEIA as a partner in 2013 to advocate for a strong U.S. solar industry. Since joining, GM has added 10 solar arrays and has helped launch the Business Renewables Center, which aims to accelerate renewable energy use.
In the next several months, GM will add more than 2 megawatts of solar power to its facilities, including a 466-kilowatt array at its Rochester Operations facility in New York and an 800-kilowatt array at its Warren Transmission plant built in partnership with DTE Energy.
In total, the company will house an industry-leading 11.4 megawatts of solar arrays across 16 U.S. facilities. Together these arrays generate nearly 15 million kilowatt hours of energy, avoiding the equivalent carbon emissions from 11 million pounds of coal burned.
Globally, GM will feature a solar footprint of 48 megawatts at 22 facilities, equivalent to the size of 130 American football fields.
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