General Motors Adds 3 Acres Of Solar Arrays At 2 Michigan Sites

JUN 24 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 18

GM received a Project of Distinction Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Solar Electric Power Association for the integrated solar microgrid system at the company’s plant in Baltimore. GM, OnStar and energy service company TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. partnered to use aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid.

GM received a Project of Distinction Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Solar Electric Power Association for the integrated solar microgrid system at the company’s plant in Baltimore. GM, OnStar and energy service company TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. partnered to use aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid.

General Motors is expanding its renewable energy commitment with 3 acres of new solar arrays at two Michigan facilities:

“The company’s processing center in Swartz Creek and engine plant in Flint will feature 150-kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays expected to generate a combined 400,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year to the facilities’ grids. That is equivalent to the annual energy use of 25 homes.”

General Motors commented on its total solar power capabilities, stating:

“After the projects are complete this fall, GM will house more than 38 megawatts of solar power at 13 facilities around the world and more than 60 megawatts of renewable energy globally when combined with its landfill gas and biomass energy use.”

On the solar front, GM is not even close to done:

“The new installations bring GM closer to reaching its goal to increase renewable energy use globally to 125 megawatts by 2020.”

Rob Threlkeld, GM global renewable energy manager, commented:

“Ever since our first solar array in 2006, GM has realized the benefits of renewable energy.  Not only does it 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.”

GM’s current solar installations include the following:

  • 1.8-megawatt installation at Toledo Transmission, Ohio’s largest rooftop array.
  • 1-megawatt array at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. distribution center, the nation’s first 1-megawatt public solar project.
  • 516-kilowatt installation at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan’s largest ground-mount solar array.
  • 900-kilowatt rooftop array on its Fontana, Calif. parts distribution warehouse.
  • 350-kilowatt ground-mount array at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich.
  • 49-kilowatt ground-mount array at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

Full press release below:

GM Adds 3 Acres of Solar Arrays in Michigan
Company also earns solar industry recognition for Smart Grid project

BOSTON – General Motors is increasing its renewable energy use with 3 acres of new solar arrays at two Michigan facilities.

The company’s processing center in Swartz Creek and engine plant in Flint will feature 150-kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays expected to generate a combined 400,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year to the facilities’ grids. That is equivalent to the annual energy use of 25 homes.

After the projects are complete this fall, GM will house more than 38 megawatts of solar power at 13 facilities around the world and more than 60 megawatts of renewable energy globally when combined with its landfill gas and biomass energy use.

The new installations bring GM closer to reaching its goal to increase renewable energy use globally to 125 megawatts by 2020.

“Ever since our first solar array in 2006, GM has realized the benefits of renewable energy,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global renewable energy manager. “Not only does it 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.”

GM announced its plans for the installations this week in Boston at the annual PV America East Expo, a conference bringing together professionals, manufacturers and service providers in the photovoltaic energy industry.

Conference organizers Solar Energy Industries Association and Solar Electric Power Association recognized GM with a Project of Distinction Award – the highest achievement for a photovoltaic solar energy project – for the integrated solar microgrid system at the company’s plant in Baltimore.

GM, OnStar and energy service company TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. partnered to use aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid, operated by PJM Interconnection. The site also is home to a 1.237MW rooftop solar array – one of the largest in Maryland – that generates nearly 6 percent of the facility’s electric consumption.

“Through collaboration and innovation, GM, OnStar, PJM and TimberRock have teamed up to give Americans a peek into the future,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “The advanced, solar microgrid at GM’s Baltimore site is a state-of-the-art union of electric vehicle, solar power and battery storage technologies. This project’s unique vehicle-to-grid integration, utilizing a solar microgrid, makes it a worthy recipient of the 2014 Project of Distinction Award.”

According to SEIA, GM leads all automakers in the number of solar installations in the U.S. and ranks among the top U.S. corporate solar users in 2013 and 2012. It named GM a “Solar Champion” for the company’s significant impact on establishing a strong solar industry.

GM’s other U.S. solar installations include:

A 1.8-megawatt installation at Toledo Transmission, Ohio’s largest rooftop array.
A 1-megawatt array at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. distribution center, the nation’s first 1-megawatt public solar project.
A 516-kilowatt installation at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan’s largest ground-mount solar array.
A 900-kilowatt rooftop array on its Fontana, Calif. parts distribution warehouse.
A 350-kilowatt ground-mount array at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich.
A 49-kilowatt ground-mount array at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

Categories: Cadillac, Chevrolet, General

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18 Comments on "General Motors Adds 3 Acres Of Solar Arrays At 2 Michigan Sites"

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pjwood

1.8MW on a single roof 😉

GeorgeS

I like the integrated storage.

scott franco

Greenwashing.

GM would do far more by simply selling the Spark everywhere and actually pushing the car.

Spec9

Greenwashing is when something is fake or not really effective.

This is very real and it is nice move to generate more emissions free electricity.

TomArt

Agreed. The fact that they could do more, and should, is not sufficient to warrant the “greenwashing” label. This is working, and they are installing more and more. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Developing the Volt, but nothing else, would be considered “greenwashing” in and of itself. If they were as serious about electrifying their products as they are installing solar PV arrays, then they would have been doing what VIA Motors is doing.

However, given the existence of the Volt and no plans to drop it, plus the solar PV arrays past, present and future, it is not entirely greenwashing. There is hope that GM management is serious about all of this.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Now GM just has to start building higher-power chargers into their cars… Let’s see >=50A guys!!

Spec9

I hope that these systems help change the minds of the engineers and designers at GM. They’ll see how we can harness free energy pouring down out of the sky to create electricity. And then they’ll be inspired to build automobiles that drive on this free energy.

Anon

Selling the Spark EV in all US States, would sell me on their “greenness”…

Spec9

I’m sure they would be happy to sell the Spark EV if you’d pay $3K or so more for the car. But right now I suspect they are losing money on each one sold so they only do it in CARB states.

TomArt

That’s no excuse – offering the car in all 50 states increases awareness and sales, which will reduce any potential losses in these early sales.

Front the money for them on that expense of selling nationwide TomArt, and I’m sure they’d be glad to do it.

Anon

The US Taxpayers already fronted them money in their last financial bankruptcy / bailout…

They should therefore be trying to sell compelling vehicles in All Markets to US Citizens– especially EVs.

Brian

When corporations realize that it makes good business sense to generate their own clean energy, it is a good sign that the energy revolution is well on its way!

TomArt

Agreed. It’s high time!

Spec9

This is very big in Germany where many companies own their own wind farms, solar PV arrays, and biomass units for creating their own electricity.

And it is catching on here too, there are US auto makers that run their own wind farms in places. And Google & Apple both use windfarms and solar PV arrays to power data centers.

sven

Coal usage in Germany is also growing since they shut down their nuclear plants. The story below has some pretty depressing pics from Germany and elsewhere.

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/06/global-coal-usage-reaches-44-year-high/100760/

And the trend continues onward and upward. Years from now we will look back and wonder why there was even a debate.

ffbj

I agree with TomArt in the sense that GM has yet to show they are true believers in the ev revolution. They act more like the groom at a shot-gun wedding. The bride is not his choice, but it’s better than a load of buck shot in your backside. More accurate would probably that they are using ev’s as a hedge, but I could not resist the previous analogy.