Today General Motors announced that it is doubling its solar output, from 30 megawatts to 60 megawatts, by 2015. To put this figure into perspective, 60 megawatts of power is equivalent to providing the power needs of 10,000 homes each year.
The new sun-loving systems will be installed as solar-charging canopies at Chevrolet dealerships and GM facilities across the nation. Additional solar energy use will come via a power purchase agreement for which GM will allow for the installation of large-scale solar arrays at GM facilities and then purchase the energy produced.
General Motors uses more renewable energy than any other business in the automotive sector. GM is not only home to the largest renewable energy portfolio in the automotive sector, it is also the home of the largest rooftop solar installation in the world. The system installed at the GM assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain, is the largest of its kind.
Today’s announcement came as part of a larger solar energy announcement made by GM Ventures, a subsidiary of General Motors. GM Ventures will be investing $7.5 million in Sunlogics PLC, a global solar energy systems provider. The funds will help Sunlogics create a corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Detroit metropolitan area and set up a second manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The Detroit-area facilities alone will create 200 new green jobs.
Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures, comments on the investment: “Global solar energy use is predicted to more than double by 2016, so we believe that investing in renewable energy is a smart and strategic business decision. And, the Chevrolet solar charging canopy project complements our electrification strategy that started with the Chevrolet Volt by helping our cars live up to their fullest green potential.”
For more information about General Motors renewable energy portfolio, visit the company’s Environment website.