Canadian Manufacturing

GM installing 2.2-MW solar array at Ohio assembly plant

Ground-mounted solar array will produce enough power to provide about 1.5 per cent of plant's electricity needs

LORDSTOWN, Ohio—General Motors Co. (GM) said a 2.2-megawatt solar array being installed at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant will be the company’s largest in the Western Hemisphere when complete later this year.

Made up of more than 8,500 solar panels, GM said the ground-mounted solar array will produce enough power to provide about 1.5 per cent of the plant’s electricity needs while helping avoid the equivalent of nearly 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

“With more solar installations than any other automotive company and the second-highest percentage of solar among all commercial users, GM shows that manufacturing and the use of renewable energy can go hand-in-hand,” Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch said in a statement released by GM.

The solar installation at the Lordstown plant will be completed about a year after a 1.8-megawatt solar array was installed on the roof of GM’s transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio, about two hours west of the assembly facility home to the Chevrolet Cruze.

That solar array is the largest rooftop installation in the state, producing enough energy to power 149 homes in the United States annually.

“You don’t often think of the Midwest when you think of ideal locations for solar, but reduced costs and increased utility rates have made sites like Lordstown and Toledo optimal locations to expand GM’s use of solar power,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy.

With the Lordstown project, GM said it remains on track to meet a company goal of 125 megawatts of renewable energy installations globally by 2015.

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