General Motors announced today that its Changwon Assembly plant, home of the brand new Chevrolet Spark and Spark EV, has reached an agreement with renewable energy company KC Cottrell to build a three-megawatt solar installation on the plant’s rooftop.
When operational, it will provide the equivalent energy needed to provide electricity to 1,200 homes in South Korea for one year. This is the same as powering 221 homes in the United States for one year.
“This array will be the fourth-largest in our solar energy portfolio, joining our plants in Germany and Spain that house large solar capacities on their rooftops,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s manager of renewable energy.
The array will be built on a 688,000 square-foot rooftop — about the size of 11 American football fields. When running at full capacity, it will generate enough solar energy to cut carbon emissions at the facility by 2,400 metric tons per year. The array is expected to go into service in the third quarter of 2013.
“This announcement reflects GM’s commitment to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities, no matter where they are around the globe,” said Threlkeld. “By using renewable energy, we reduce our impact and save money at the same time.”
GM has more than 33 megawatts of solar energy installed at its global facilities.
Changwon Assembly also recently met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Challenge for Industry by reducing its energy consumption by 10 percent in two years.
Through innovative energy efficient practices, the facility avoided putting more than 5,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere during that time, which led to $622,000 in cost savings.