GM Goes Solar

July 9, 2008

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in! At least that's General Motors' plan for its huge automotive assembly plant near Zaragoza, in Spain. The automaker plans to install a whopping 85,000 solar panels, a 2-million-square-foot array.

When completed this coming autumn, the panels will produce a full 12 megawatts of power, enough to handle a sizable chunk of the energy needs of the factory - which produces Opel models including the Meriva and Corsa - or to supply 4,575 typical Spanish households.

"The Zaragoza project demonstrates proof that GM is actively accelerating our efforts to be part of the solution to the environmental issues and challenges facing our world," said Gary Cowger, GM group vice president of Global Manufacturing.

The panels will be supplied by suburban Detroit-based Energy Conversion Devices, which produces some of the world's highest-efficiency solar panels. GM has been expanding its use of the green technology, and has installed the arrays at two U.S. warehouses, including one in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where solar power now supplies half of the facility's energy needs.

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