GM Named Top Solar User in U.S. Auto Sector

Sep 14, 2012 04:58 PM EDT

The Solar Energy Industries Association announced General Motors as the No. 1 automotive user of solar power in the United States. GM also ranked 13th out of the top 20 solar-powered companies in the U.S.

SEIA, along with Vote Solar Initiative, determined the industry rankings by cumulative solar energy capacity.

"GM has set an example in renewable energy within its industry and beyond," said Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "Solar helps companies reliably manage their long-term energy costs, and our top 20 companies are going solar in a big way across the nation."

Last year, GM committed to doubling its global solar output to 60 megawatts in the next three years, and to increase renewable energy use to 125MW by 2020.

"Being listed among environmental leaders like Walmart and IKEA reinforces our progress in reducing our energy use," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. "We understand the environmental and business benefits of using renewable energy and we look forward to building on it with our new commitments."

GM's solar arrays will generate enough electricity this year to power 800 U.S. homes and that number is expected to double in 2013.

GM's U.S. solar installations include:

* 1.8MW rooftop solar array at Toledo (Ohio) Transmission Plant to be completed in November 2012. It will generate 3 percent of the plant's electric consumption.

* 1.237MW array on rooftop of White Marsh, Md. plant near Baltimore is one of the largest in the state, generating nearly 6 percent of the facility's electric consumption.

* 1MW solar array on distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was the first public solar project in the United States over 1 megawatt when it began operating in 2006.

* 900kW array on the rooftop of parts distribution warehouse in Fontana, Calif.516kW ground-mount solar array at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly is the largest of its kind in Michigan.

* 350kW ground-mount array at GM's Lake Orion Assembly Plant will provide enough energy to power 45 homes annually in Michigan.

Additionally, eight U.S. facilities have solar EV charging canopies on the grounds, including: Baltimore Operations, Bowling Green (Ky.) Assembly, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Lordstown (Ohio) Assembly, Parma (Ohio) Metal Center, Warren (Mich.) Technical Center, Warren Company Vehicle Operations and Milford (Mich.) Proving Ground, with five more expected to begin construction before the end of the year.

In the United States alone, 2.1 percent of GM's energy consumption comes from renewable resources. For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog. 

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