GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Mich., already has been helping U.S. drivers save on fuel costs thanks to its products—the high-efficiency Chevy Sonic and Buick Verano—and now it’s upping the ante by putting up a 350-kW solar array. According to Chevrolet Dealers Amarillo, the automaker is getting some help from local utility company DTE Energy, which is working with customer-partners like GM on a program to add an extra 15 megawatts of clean solar energy to the power grid by 2015. According to Chevy CT, the setup at Orion is projected to produce enough power for 45 homes annually, and as an added bonus, it will keep more than 260 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
In addition to turning to the sun for energy, the Orion facility also:
- Draws power from gas created at two nearby landfills, saving $1.1 million per year in energy costs and avoiding more than 6,300 metric tons of CO2 emissions
- Upgraded its lighting to reduce CO2 emissions by another 5,003 metric tons and net $575,895 in savings
- Deployed an eco-friendly paint process that cuts the amount of energy required to paint a vehicle by 50 percent; when the plant is running at full capacity, the new paint shop will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 80,000 metric tons annually
“Last year, we committed to doubling our global solar output at our facilities from 30 megawatts to 60 by 2015,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs. “We believe in harnessing energy from clean, renewable sources because there is a solid business case to be made and it’s good for the environment. This array reinforces our progress.”
Los Angeles Chevy looks forward to Chevrolet incorporating more sustainable engegy in the future.