General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are built, gets 43 percent of its power from methane captured from decomposing trash in a nearby landfill. This plant ranks fifth among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s top 30 generators of onsite green power.
The automaker says the plant’s generation of 53 million kilowatt hours of green power could supply the equivalent electricity use of more than 5,000 American homes annually.
“Renewable energy enables us to reduce risk at our plants and save money on energy costs – facts that prove there’s economic opportunity in addressing climate change,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “None of our U.S. plants use coal as an energy source.”
The EPA considers GM one of the largest industrial users of landfill gas in the United States. Fort Wayne Assembly has used landfill gas for 13 years and brought the generation process onsite last year to quadruple usage.
GM also stated clean energy use is one component of the facility’s efforts to leave a smaller carbon footprint. It earned ENERGY STAR certification in 2012, has met the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry and hosts a 14.4 kilowatt solar array. Fort Wayne Assembly also is landfill-free, meaning it reuses, recycles or converts to energy all waste from daily operations. Its employees developed a wildlife habitat on the grounds, which the Wildlife Habitat Council certified last year.