Chattanooga Solar Park at automaker's manufacturing facility employs 33,600 modules on 33 acres
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—A Volkswagen assembly plant in Tennessee is receiving power from the largest solar installation at a U.S. automotive factory.
According to the automaker, its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly facility, home to the Volkswagen Passat, will receive 12.5 per cent of its energy needs during production from the adjacent Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park.
During non-production periods the electricity supplied will be enough to power 100 per cent of the plant.
The facility will consume 100 per cent of the electricity produced at the solar park.
The massive installation occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to the plant, and represents the automaker’s largest solar project.
The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year—enough to power 1,200 area homes annually.
Owned and operated by Silicon Ranch, power from the solar park will be sold to the facility at an undisclosed price under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The solar installation at Volkswagen Chattanooga confirms the awarding of the highly-coveted LEED Platinum certification to VW by the U.S. Green Building Council in late 2011.
At that time, the Building Council called the Chattanooga manufacturing facility “the world’s greenest auto plant” and noted it was the first automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive the top LEED certification.
Today, the Chattanooga plant remains the only auto plant worldwide to earn the LEED Platinum certification.