Solar Energy Industries gives General Motors #1 ranking

September 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Pigs have officially flown and hell is frozen over – who would ever have guessed the company responsible for manufacturing the gas-suckin’ Suburban and the road-hoggin’ Hummer would end up being praised for its use of solar energy? But that’s just what GM’s managed to do recently when it was voted the #1 user of solar power in the U.S.A., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA. GM also ranks #13 of the top solar-powered companies in the United States.

SEIA and the Vote Solar Initiative determined the rankings via cumulative solar energy capacity. Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, deciphers that phrase this way:

“GM has set an example in renewable energy within its industry and beyond. Solar helps companies reliably manage their long-term energy costs, and our top 20 companies are going solar in a big way across the nation.”

In 2011, GM publicly stated its commitment to doubling its global sonar output to 60 megawatts by 2014 and to increase renewable energy use to 125MW by 2020.

“Being listed among environmental leaders like Walmart and IKEA reinforces our progress in reducing our energy use,” said Mike Robinson, GM Vice President of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “We understand the environmental and business benefits of using renewable energy and we look forward to building on it with our new commitments.”

GM’s solar arrays will generate enough electricity this year to power 800 U.S. homes and that number is expected to double in 2013.

GM’s U.S. solar installations include:

• 1.8MW rooftop solar array at Toledo (Ohio) Transmission Plant to be completed in November 2012. It will generate 3 percent of the plant’s electric consumption.

• 1.237MW array on rooftop of White Marsh, Md. plant near Baltimore is one of the largest in the state, generating nearly 6 percent of the facility’s electric consumption.

• 1MW solar array on distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was the first public solar project in the United States over 1 megawatt when it began operating in 2006.

• 900kW array on the rooftop of parts distribution warehouse in Fontana, Calif.

• 516kW ground-mount solar array at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly is the largest of its kind in Michigan.

• 350kW ground-mount array at GM’s Lake Orion Assembly Plant will provide enough energy to power 45 homes annually in Michigan.

In the United States alone, 2.1 percent of GM’s energy consumption comes from renewable resources, the company says. For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

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