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GM to Use Sun's Energy for Volt Production

Falling in line with all the car makers that have decided to make the electric vehicles manufacturing process as green as possible, GM announced last week that it too is looking to tap into the energy of the sun to build the Volt plug in hybrid.

To do that, GM is getting ready to install at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant the biggest array of photovoltaic solar panels in Southeast Michigan. To be built by DTE Energy, the solar panel field will feed electricity, 516-kilowatt worth of it, right into the assembly lines.

GM hopes that this green electricity will help it charge 150 Volts every day for an entire year. The solar panels will cover 264,000-square-feet and will save the automotive giant $15,000 in energy costs per year over the next 20 years. The project will cost DTE and GM $3 million.

“This array will significantly decrease energy consumption by combining solar power with ongoing efficiency tactics such as lighting and equipment upgrades and automating equipment shut-down,” said Bob Ferguson, vice president of GM Public Policy.

“Making sustainable choices is good for both the environment and our bottom line. Obviously cost savings is critical for GM, and the ability to save $15,000 per year while being environmental serves us well.”

The Detroit-Hamtramck solar array is part of DTE's larger plan of turning solar power into a viable choice in the US. The utility's SolarCurrents projects aims to install enough photovoltaic systems over the next five years to contribute to the generation of 15 megawatts of electricity throughout Southeast Michigan.  

 
 
 
 
 

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