Chevrolet Spark EV Motor Factory Now Boasts 1.23 MW Solar Array – Video

MAY 26 2015 BY MARK KANE 26

GM Baltimore Operations builds upon its environmental achievements with the addition of 580 kilowatts of solar, a 15.5 percent reduction in energy intensity and LEED Silver Certification at its e-Motor building, where the Chevrolet Spark electric drive motor is built.

GM Baltimore Operations builds upon its environmental achievements with the addition of 580 kilowatts of solar, a 15.5 percent reduction in energy intensity and LEED Silver Certification at its e-Motor building, where the Chevrolet Spark electric drive motor is built.

Chevrolet Spark EV had an interesting Spring with a sales record, extension of sales into Maryland and now a more green manufacturing facility for its drivetrain.

General Motors Baltimore Operations complex in White Marsh, Maryland, which is producing electric motors and drive units for the Spark EV, recently got a LEED Silver-certificate after installing a lot of solar on its roof.

“The greening of the General Motors Baltimore Operations complex included the addition of 580 kilowatts of solar to the roof of its e-Motor building. Together with a 1.23-megawatt solar array on its grounds, 6 percent of the facility’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Maryland-based Empower Energies installed the solar system.

The U.S. Green Building Council certified the building as LEED Silver for environmental upgrades such as the solar array, installing light-emitting diode, or LED, exterior lighting and using compact fluorescent lighting in production areas.

Employee efforts to further reduce the building’s carbon footprint led to its surpassing the voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry, which requires a 10 percent reduction in energy intensity within five years. Baltimore joins 70 achievers in GM, which is the global leader of the challenge.”

Jean Lupinacci, acting director of EPA’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division, said:

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s plants and buildings is critical to protecting our environment. GM is addressing this in its Baltimore plant by achieving a 15.5 percent reduction in energy intensity and is leading the way by making the buildings where we work, play and learn more efficient.”

Greg Martin, executive director of Global Public Policy, said:

“We believe reducing our environmental footprint is good for the climate and good for our business,” said Martin. “Wherever we can, we are reducing our energy use, powering our plants with renewable energy and conserving resources.”

Plant manager Bill Tiger said:

“We believe the future is electric, and strive to ensure our manufacturing process reflects the clean efficiency of these vehicles. We’re always looking for better ways to power our future.”

Three Chevrolet Spark EVs on display Monday, May 18, 2015 the General Motors Baltimore Operations complex, where the Spark EV electric motors and drive units are being manufactured under a rooftop solar array in a newly LEED Silver-certified building in White Marsh, Maryland. Environmental upgrades as the solar array, LED exterior lighting and compact fluorescent lighting in production areas have been installed. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)

Three Chevrolet Spark EVs on display Monday, May 18, 2015 the General Motors Baltimore Operations complex, where the Spark EV electric motors and drive units are being manufactured under a rooftop solar array in a newly LEED Silver-certified building in White Marsh, Maryland. Environmental upgrades as the solar array, LED exterior lighting and compact fluorescent lighting in production areas have been installed. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)

A 580 kilowatt solar array was recently added to the roof of Baltimore Operation’s e-Motor building, where electric motors and drive units for the Chevrolet Spark EV are built. This new array is made up of approximately 2,420 panels and covers 87 percent of the e-Motor building’s roof.

A 580 kilowatt solar array was recently added to the roof of Baltimore Operation’s e-Motor building, where electric motors and drive units for the Chevrolet Spark EV are built. This new array is made up of approximately 2,420 panels and covers 87 percent of the e-Motor building’s roof.

Hat tip to CJP!

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26 Comments on "Chevrolet Spark EV Motor Factory Now Boasts 1.23 MW Solar Array – Video"

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kdawg

So 0.58MW + 1.23MW is only 6%. That means they are using 30.2MW in this plant. Makes what I use at home seem puny.

Speculawyer

You conflating power & energy.

kdawg

Never said anything about energy. Talking about power.

Speculawyer

Well, your 6% figure is from the line “6 percent of the facility’s electricity comes from renewable sources.” . . . and although a bit ambiguous, I’d generally assume that ‘electricity’ is referring to energy (in KWH).

kdawg

6% of energy over 24 hour period is the same as 6% of electric power x 24 hours. 6% is 6%. There are no units on percentage.

30MW @ 480VAC would be 62.5kA. If they have they have ~750 pieces of equipment in the plant, that would be ~83A each. But also have to factor in things like HVAC, lighting, etc.

Bill Howland

36.1 ka. Name brand inverters are all 3-phase, and the industry is migrating to 1000 volt systems on commercial string inverters.

Also, most larger systems these days are MV.

kdawg

True, 36.08kA for line current. I was referring to 3ph and the voltage inside the plant for the equipment will be 480V p2p. Watts do not care about voltage.

Bill Howland

I don’t know where you get those numbers. The text says 22 string inverters. The most popular model in this power range amoungst all manufactureres is the SMA TL24000 with an input of up to 1000 volts and output current under 30 amps each.

SMA has unitized ‘Unit Substations’ to tie into any Medium Voltage distribution system GM is using.

Speculawyer

Where did 24 hours come from?

I agree there is no unit on percentage but “the facility’s electricity” does have some type of unit. It is a bit ambiguous, but I’d say it is KWH (energy) and not KW (power). People generally don’t use generated power when referring to solar PV systems since it changes all the time.

Foo

Speculawyer is right. Watts (or other multiple, such as megawatts, or MW) is just an instantaneous measure of electrical power at a theoretically infinitely small instant). It is simply a “level” and does not measure energy. It has no “substance”.

Energy is measured in watt-hours (or other multiple, such as kilowatt-hours, or kWh). Think of a unit like a watt-hour as “power level multiplied by time”. For example, if you maintain 1000 watts of power for 1 hour, then you expended 1 kilowatt-hour. Adding the dimension of time provides “substance”.

kdawg

Yupe, i’m an EE, know what watts are. Question comes down to what you are taking a percentage of.

Foo

Sure, but it makes more sense, when referring to how much electricity “is used” by some installation (such as a factory) to assume the usage reference is about energy (watt-hours), not power (watts).

Warren M

Makes these 1mega watt supercars seem pretty powerful! Wonder what those black speaker looking things are on that roof?

Carsten

In my installer days I was part of the crew, that installed the car chargers and carport next to the main entrance.
Glad to see them used.

James

Amen. Nice work, Carsten!

Leptoquark

And, as follow-through on the Jan 2015 announcement that the Spark will start being sold in Maryland, they are indeed getting purchased/leased.

See http://pluginsites.org/spark-ev-with-sae-combo-fast-charging-in-maryland/

Brian_Henderson

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s plants and buildings”

Technically the “energy efficiency” of the building was not increased; just a new source of (solar) energy added on the roof.

Mixing energy efficiency with efficient energy sources is a rookie mistake.

The real purpose of choosing solar should have been because it’s a clean source of energy, not for the insulation factor of adding panels to a roof.

Mike I

The story says they also improved efficiency with LED and CFL lighting installations.

Speculawyer

Yeah, there might be a tiny energy efficiency increase in that the cooling requirements may be decreased a bit due to the PV panels taking the heat from the sun. But it is such a small amount that it probably isn’t worth discussing.

James

It’s always nice to see companies adding renewable energy sources.

Plant manager Bill Tiger said, “we believe the future is electric – ”

Let’s hope the top brass come to that same conclusion and also put out more SparkEVs in all 50 states. So much bad publicity on GM about the ignition switch death toll and smoking guns all the way up. This kind of news today spreads the word that GM cares – but not as much as if they build EVs and PHEVs in ever-increasing sizes, shapes and numbers.

Speculawyer

The future *is* electric. Even if hydrogen were to pull a come-from-behind victory, they are electric cars too.

NeilBlanchard

GM – please sell the Spark EV in all 50 states!

James

Thanks for adding the video – it gives the grand scope of just how many solar panels they’ve used.

Just think, 1.81 megawatts of solar panel power, and just 15.5% reduction of “energy intensity” reduction in 3 years!

It shows just how “energy intense” these factories are. That’s a lot of megawatts to make that sized dent!

Every bit helps, for sure – now if we can keep getting more efficiency from solar panel technology as energy density is going up in batteries.

James

– Maybe if GM purchased a row of Tesla 1 G Powerpacks for overcast day and evening storage…

Eric Cote

…or they could use their own battery packs, for much lower cost. 🙂

Bill Howland

I don’t know where you get those numbers. The text says 22 string inverters. The most popular model in this power range amoungst all manufactureres is the SMA TL24000 with an input of up to 1000 volts and output current under 30 amps each.

SMA has unitized ‘Unit Substations’ to tie into any Medium Voltage distribution system GM is using.