Solar Energy Rooftops Set For Renault Plants

Automaker Renault has announced that the company will install solar powered roof systems to its French manufacturing plants in Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly, Sandouville, and Cléon. The projects are being helmed by Spanish-based firm Gestamp Solar, which plans to start installation this June and finish next February.

We recently noted a similar project happening at a Nissan facility in Tennessee, but the scale of the French plan is far more vast. Claiming to be the largest solar panel initiative ever in the automotive industry once completed, the various plants will have a total solar panel area equivalent to more than sixty football fields, and a total power capacity of 60 megawatts.

image via Renault

Renault says the solar power project will collectively reduce carbon-dioxide emission by  30,000 tonnes each year, and is part of a larger corporate program that seeks to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 10% over the next two years, and 20% by the year 2016.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are only as green as the resources used to power charging stations and homes where they refuel. Similarly, if a car is manufactured using dirty energy, how clean can it really be?

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.