General Motors Canada has completed a $28 million investment at its St. Catharines Propulsion Plant in Ontario, Canada that is intended to “enhance the operation’s competitiveness by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing future energy costs,” the automaker said in a statement.
This investment will go toward a new cogeneration power system at the plant, which will pull gas from a nearby landfill and burn it to provide electricity to the factory. The automaker says this strategy is “expected to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 70 percent while protecting the engine and transmission plant from rising electricity and carbon costs.” As an added bonus, this method also allows GM to recover the thermal energy from Southern Ontario’s garbage and put it to use instead of letting it go to waste.
“This cogeneration project demonstrates the power of local partnerships to deliver results that improve the bottom line, protect the environment and meet our sustainability targets,” GM St. Catharines Plant Director Carolyne Watts said in a prepared statement.
A ceremony celebrating the investment was attended by different GM and GM Canada leaders, along with St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Local MP Chris Bittle. In addition to GM, a number of government and non-government organizations supported this effort, as well, including Alectra Utilities, Integrated Gas Recovery Services and the Ontario Centres of Excellence economy initiative.
Notably, St. Catharines Propulsion is now home to the first complete renewable landfill gas industrial cogeneration system in Ontario and is the first building of any kind to deliver renewable landfill gas from an offsite source. Initiatives like these will help GM achieve its goal of running its business off 100% renewable energy by 2040.
GM CEO Mary Barra said previously that its 100 percent renewable energy goal will help the automaker “better serve society by reducing environmental impact,” while also strengthening its business “through lower and more stable energy costs.”