Today nearly a tenth of GM’s energy use in North America comes from a renewable source, and every year General Motors saves roughly $5 million by using renewable resources, that’s quite a bit of coin. To build on that incentive, the General has built a 2-acre solar array at its Rochester Operations plant in New York. If you’re wondering what a solar array is, it’s simply a cluster of solar panels. Duh.
This marked the companies sixteenth solar installation in the United States, solidifying GM’s top spot among automakers that utilize solar energy (nationally speaking). And being such a leader has its benefits, as explained by GM Global Renewable Energy Manager Rob Threlkeld.
“Incentive programs also draw in more players into the solar market, which ultimately helps us to secure competitive pricing for quality materials,” said Threlkeld.
The 466 kW solar array in Rochester is expected to supply up to three percent of needed electricity to the facility, which produces integrated air fuel modules, fuel rails, EGR valves, lifter oil manifold assemblies, evaporative canisters and fuel injectors for multiple GM vehicles.
That three percent may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of about 57 single family homes in the state of New York; it’s also enough to charge 1,000 electric vehicles for a year – according to GM. Just goes to show how much energy manufacturing facilities require.
General Motors was able to install the array in less than six months by partnering with Meridian Solar and Sustainable Energy Developments, Inc. GM Rochester Plant Manager Neal Evans stated in a press release that the array has been an exciting project and complements other environmental initiatives at the facility.
“Our employees send none of our daily waste to landfill and have created a thriving wildlife habitat for birds and butterflies,” said Evans. “Now we can add renewable energy to the mix. These continued improvements are a pride point for the team…and they accomplish them all while building millions of components for the finest Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac vehicles that GM produces.”