“Our investment is helping accelerate the proliferation of clean energy in Texas and the use of wind as a reliable, renewable source of energy,” said Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Our sustainable manufacturing mindset benefits the communities in which we operate across the globe.”
The change is the result of a power purchase agreement GM sign with EDP Renewables North America for 30 mega Watts of energy from the planned 250 mega Watt Hidalgo Wind Farm in Edinburg, Texas. This will require fifteen of the wind farm’s 261-foot-tall turbines with blades that span the length of a football field in diameter.
The assembly plant will be able to produce up to 125,000 trucks a year with this renewable resource, which is more than half of the plant’s annual vehicle output. This saves GM a hefty $2.8 million in energy costs annually, and over the course of the 14-year deal GM will avoid more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – which is the equivalent to the emissions of 112 million gallons of gasoline consumed. Try and accomplish that with the SUVs the plant produces. To compound its efforts even more, the Arlington Assembly plant is also investing in a new paint shop that will use half the energy of the current system.
This method of using wind energy will also be used by three GM Mexico facilities starting in the first quarter of 2016. Once this begins, GM will exceed its commitment to use 125 MW of renewable energy by 2020. And with great efforts comes great reward; GM has saved nearly $80 million thanks to its investments in renewable energy. Aside from the wind power, General Motors has also announced solar energy usage for the Bowling Green Corvette plant, the Chevrolet Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and the transmission plant in Warren, Michigan.