General Motors is opening a new $269.5 million electric motor manufacturing plant near Baltimore, which it says is a first for a major U.S. automaker. The plant will be powered, in part, by a solar power system under a twenty-year contract with Constellation Energy.
While Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the rooftop solar array, General Motors will purchase all of the power generated from the 1.23 megawatt system. The Baltimore plant, which has been a zero-landfill facility since 2007, will get approximately 9% of of its energy needs from the renewable accessory.
We recently reported on a similar solar power project at one of GM’s Chevrolet plants in Michigan, part of an overall efficiency program expected to save the company $3 million per year in energy costs. The solar array at the Baltimore facility will save approximately $330,000 over the course of the twenty-year project.
General Motors says that the company as a whole receives 1.4% of its total energy needs from renewable resources, including hydro-power and others. Not a bad start, but still a ways to go.