General Motors’ Flint Assembly plant will soon get a host of upgrades designed to save energy at the factory. Consumers Energy awarded GM $2.8 million for the improvements. In the last 10 years, GM has received $13.3 million from the utilities company to reduce energy use. Within the last year, Flint Assembly completed 21 energy-saving projects, which included a new energy-efficient body shop along with lighting upgrades.
“General Motors has made a commitment to sustainability, and we are pleased to work with them to take actions that are good for their customers and all of Michigan,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience, in the statement announcing the award.
The amount of energy GM will save at its Flint Assembly plant will be about to power about 1,600 homes with electricity and heat about 550 homes with natural gas. GM is one of two participants in a new Consumers Energy program that matches its Flint operations 100 percent with renewable energy. And in Ohio last year, CMS Energy, Consumers Energy’s parent company, opened a wind farm to proved renewable energy to GM’s Ohio operations.
“GM Flint Assembly’s commitment to sustainability enables us to develop an energy-efficient work environment for our team,” said Michael Perez, GM Flint Assembly plant manager. “Our relationship with Consumers Energy allows us to continue to identify new opportunities to reduce and reuse energy.”
Flint Assembly is playing an essential part in GM’s future as the company navigates a massive restructuring and a realigning of financial and developmental resources. The factory builds the company’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup trucks. When GM unveiled the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD, it also announced an additional 1,000 jobs at the Flint factory in a time where plants like Lordstown are shutting down. While GM execs say the future is all-electric, trucks, SUVs, and other high-profit models need to subsidize electric and autonomous vehicle research and development. The plant’s improved energy efficiency will help in that endeavor.