Volkswagen Switches On Its Largest Solar-Energy Complex

January 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Volkswagen AG (VOW) switched on its
largest photo-voltaic installation worldwide as Europe’s biggest
carmaker builds on its U.S. auto factory’s recognition by an
environmental group for sustainable operations.

The solar park occupies 33 acres (13 hectares) next to the
plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where VW produces the Passat
mid-size sedan for the U.S. market, and provide 13 percent of
energy needs during production hours, the manufacturer said.

“We are proud to power up the biggest solar park of any
car manufacturer in North America,” Frank Fischer, head of VW’s
Chattanooga operations, said in a statement today.

The 9.5-megawatt solar setup will supply all the plant’s
electricity needs when manufacturing lines aren’t operating,
Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen said. The car plant, which
opened in May 2011, is the first in the industry with top-level
platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which rates
properties on how well they limit effects on the environment.

Silicon Ranch Corp., based in Nashville, Tennessee, will
own the solar park and sell the electricity to Volkswagen under
a 20-year supply contract, the carmaker said. German
manufacturer Phoenix Solar AG (PS4) built the system, it said.

Other VW plants using solar power include the main plant at
Wolfsburg and a factory in Emden, Germany.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at
crauwald@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Chad Thomas at
cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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