GM Recognized As Solar Champion; New Solar Install In Ohio

General Motors will be building transmissions in Toledo with partial help from the sun.

GM said a 1.8-megawatt rooftop solar array at its Toledo Transmission plant in Ohio would be completed next month.

The project, which GM said will generate nearly 3 percent of the plant’s overall electricity consumption, is expected to be the largest rooftop array in Ohio.

The energy produced will be enough to power the equivalent of 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 stated its 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, GM said nine of the company’s facilities have solar EV charging canopies on their grounds that employees and visitors can use to charge electric vehicles.

In total, GM has 395 workplace charging stations at facilities across the United States, and has provided 4,300 EV charging stations to dealers.