US: Warren plant sees solar project thanks to GM and DTE Energy image

The largest US automaker and DTE Energy have decided to initiate a solar project at the carmaker’s Warren Transmission plant, with groundbreaking scheduled soon on the new 800-kilowatt solar array.

The term for completion is next spring, by which time around 2,800 solar panels will deliver around 1 million kilowatt-hours per year of electricity, which is around the same power used on an annual basis by 135 homes. According to a spokesperson from Gm, the electricity would be poured directly into DTE’s grid rather than used by the facility itself. The panels would cover a surface of 4.25 acres on the southwest corner of the massive factory. “By supporting this project and making renewable energy commitments globally, we will surpass our goal to generate 125 megawatts of clean power by 2020,” commented the project Rob Threlkeld, GM manager of renewable energy.

The new project will be the largest in terms of solar energy for GM inside the state of Michigan – assembly plants in Lake Orion and Detroit-Hamtramck already have functional, albeit smaller scale solar arrays and the automaker generates 46 megawatts of solar power at 19 plants worldwide. After the Warren project is completed, the total surface of the company’s solar panels will cover a space equal to almost 125 football fields. “The GM Transmission partnership is part of a broader long-term plan to move us toward a cleaner, more diversified portfolio,” commented the partnership Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president for business development.