General Motors’ Arlington Assembly plant will soon use renewable energy to power its production lines for building up to 125, 000 trucks a year.
Everyone is agreeing, from governments to environmentalists, that large scale adoption of zero-emission vehicles is essential to the efforts of the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution to support the growth of a clean global economy, but a “green” industry should also imply cleaner production lines. General Motors’ Texas plant produces more than 1,200 vehicles daily, including the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade. The automaker signed a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables North America for its first US wind power – 30 MW of energy from the planned 250 MW Hidalgo Wind Farm in Edinburg, Texas. Fifteen of the wind farm’s 261-foot-tall turbines will generate 115 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy to manufacture more than half of the plant’s annual vehicle output.
Arlington Assembly expects to start using the clean power during the fourth quarter of 2016, avoiding about 2.8 million dollars in energy costs annually. Over the course of the 14-year deal, GM will avoid more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions of 112 million gallons of gasoline consumed. “Our investment is helping accelerate the proliferation of clean energy in Texas and the use of wind as a reliable, renewable source of energy,” said Jim DeLuca, GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing. “Our sustainable manufacturing mindset benefits the communities in which we operate across the globe.” Beginning in the first quarter of 2016, wind energy will help power three GM Mexico facilities. Once on line, the company will exceed its commitment to use 125 MW of renewable energy by 2020. GM’s investments in renewable energy to date have yielded nearly 80 million dollars in savings.