GM has gradually been adding solar farms to its factories during the past few years as part of a larger effort to cut its overall carbon footprint. In July 2012, the company built a 350-kilowatt solar array at its its Orion factory, about 40 miles north of Detroit. And in 2011, GM invested $7.5 million for an undisclosed stake in solar-energy systems provider Sunlogics. All told, GM's solar arrays will produce more than 40 megawatts of solar power globally, and the automaker has said it's looking to produce 60 megawatts of energy via solar power by 2015.
Additionally, GM has about 100 facilities worldwide, including 45 in North America, that recycle or reuse all waste. In August, the company added one factory in Thailand and a proving ground in South Korea to a list of waste-free plants. Check out GM's press release below.
More than 40 MW of solar globally by end of 2013
DETROIT – General Motors announced today that a 1.8-megawatt rooftop solar array at its Toledo Transmission plant in Ohio would be completed next month.
The project, which will generate nearly 3 percent of the plant's overall electricity consumption, will be the largest rooftop array in Ohio. The energy produced will be enough to power 200 homes in the United States.
"Having 21,000 solar panels on Toledo's roof is a great visual representation of our commitment to renewable energy," said Rob Threlkeld, GM manager of renewable energy. "It proves to our employees and the people who live in and around Toledo that clean energy plays a significant role in the building of our vehicles."
Separately, GM was also recognized today by the Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA, as a "Solar Champion" at its annual awards luncheon at Solar Power International 2013 in Chicago. The award recognizes companies that significantly impact establishment of a strong solar industry in America.
"General Motors is already recognized as a worldwide leader in everything from innovation to corporate responsibility. Now it is helping to lead the way in the use of clean, affordable solar energy nationwide," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "We're especially pleased with the 1.8 MW array in Toledo. This will be a boost to the company and protect our environment."
By the end of 2013, GM will have more than 40 megawatts of solar energy installed at its facilities globally, with two of the five largest rooftop solar arrays in the world located at its Opel Rüsselsheim facility in Germany and its Zaragoza Assembly plant in Spain.
GM's global solar footprint is equivalent to the size of 100 American football fields.
"Rolling more solar into our manufacturing process is not only good for the planet, but it provides a boon for our bottom line, as well," said Threlkeld, referring to avoided energy costs.
Additionally, nine GM facilities have solar EV charging canopies on their grounds that employees and visitors can use to charge electric vehicles.
General Motors has 395 workplace charging stations at facilities across the United States, and has provided 4,300 EV charging stations to dealers.
For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.