GM to build 2 solar arrays in Michigan

Three Chevrolet Volts dock at an EV charging station under a solar canopy outside GM’s Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh, Md. Photo credit: GM

General Motors will add two solar energy arrays in Michigan, increasing the company’s total in the United States to nine.

GM will build the 150-kilowatt solar panel installations at its processing center in Swartz Creek and its engine plant in Flint. When completed this fall, the additions will give the company 60 megawatts of renewable energy globally among solar installations, landfill gas and biomass energy. By 2020, GM aims to use 125 megawatts of renewable energy worldwide.

GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel said today that the company is partnering with Consumers Energy of Jackson, Mich., on the projects. She said the arrays will be similar to those at GM’s assembly plants in Hamtramck and Orion Township, Mich., which are part of a partnership with DTE Energy of Detroit.

The company announced its plans for the solar arrays on Monday evening at a solar energy conference in Boston.

Rob Threlkeld, GM global renewable energy manager, said in a statement: “Not only does [solar energy] reduce our emissions and lessen our dependence on petroleum, it makes a statement about the role businesses can play in securing a cleaner energy future.”

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