GM to Double Solar Power with German Opel Plant Addition

Sooner or later, oil cartels will be hurt by alternative energy initiatives. Governments need to be involved, if, big if, politicians can free themselves from oil money.

General Motors will double its global output of solar power with the planned addition of an 8.15-megawatt of capacity on the rooftop of its Opel Rüsselsheim facility in Germany. The new solar array – one of the largest alternative energy projects in Europe – is equivalent to the area of 32 football fields – that’s soccer for Yankees.

With the help of the sun, the new installation will generate approximately 7.3 million kW hours. This represents a CO2 reduction of approximately 3,150 tons per year, or equal to the amount of carbon isolated annually by 609 acres of pine forests.

“We are committed to increasing renewable energy use to 125 megawatts by 2020,” said Mike Robinson, a GM vice president.

The electricity produced at Rüsselsheim feeds into the power grid of the plant and is used in vehicle production. Excess solar power is fed into the public grid of Stadtwerke Mainz, a leading energy provider in Germany.

The Rüsselsheim solar array is significant as these things go and adds to the world’s largest rooftop solar array on top of GM’s Zaragoza Spain facility, as well as GM’s Kaiserslautern facility. The amount of electricity generated by the trio is about the amount needed to supply 5,800 households with their annual electricity needs.

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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