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General Motors Gets Greener With 900 KW Solar Array At Michigan Plant

DTE Energy and General Motors have completed a 900-kilowatt solar array at GM’s Warren Transmission plant in Warren, MI, making it the largest solar installation at a GM facility in the state. The DTE owned, 2,862-panel array was installed on a 4.25-acre parking lot leased from GM, will generate 1.2-kilowatt million hours of electricity annually. That is the equivalent of powering 155 homes per year in southeast Michigan.

"DTE is proud to be the state's largest investor in solar and wind, having driven investments of $2 billion since 2008. These investments are helping us reduce greenhouse gasses while enabling DTE to continue delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy for our 2.2 million customers. We are excited to be here today to celebrate the completion of this project and our partnership with General Motors,” said Irene Dimitry, vice president of business and development for DTE Energy.

General Motors (GM) 900 kW Solar Array

The completion of the Warren Transmission plant comes on the heels of GM’s announcement in September (2016) that it will produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2050. With 350 facilities worldwide that consume 9 million megawatts of hours yearly, the implementation of GM’s renewable energy sustainability plan will require significant investments and significantly lighten its carbon footprint across the globe.

"By partnering with DTE on this solar array, GM is helping bring green energy options to the Warren community," said Rob Threlkeld, GM's global manager of renewable energy. "Projects like these help GM better serve society by reducing environmental impacts."

GM reports that it has already begun saving $5 million annually by using renewable power sources. It anticipates increased savings as the demand for solar and wind expands and the price of clean energy declines.

General Motors is not the only major car manufacturer committed to including renewable energy into its business model. For example, Toyota of Corvallis in Oregon has constructed and cut the ribbon on one of the first net-zero, U.S. Green Building Council certified LEED Platinum solar-powered facilities in the car industry. The new $17 million facility, expected to produce 300,000 kilowatts of electricity annually, integrates solar generation along with water harvesting for irrigation and radiant and geothermal heating and cooling.

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