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General Motors Invests in Renewable Energy to Save Money and Reduce Emissions

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General Motors Renewable Energy and Recycling Efforts Pay off in Multiple Ways
General Motors Renewable Energy and Recycling Efforts Pay off in Multiple Ways

General Motors has been at the forefront of reducing its impact on the environment, from recycling programs to renewable energy investment.

Manufacturing, such as that done by plants owned by General Motors, is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as solid waste that ends up in landfills. General Motors has worked hard to reduce or even eliminate its production of these harmful manufacturing byproducts. For example, around the world, General Motors has over 100 plants that produce zero waste, recycling and reusing everything. In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, General Motors is also investing heavily in renewable energy.

By Spring 2014, for example, the General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be powered by 58% renewable energy, coming from solar power and refuse incineration. This week, General Motors announced that it will be putting $24 million into landfill gas projects that will help to power its Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Orion, Michigan, plants. By 2020, General Motors has pledged 125MW of renewable energy will power its plants worldwide. This new expansion, about 14MW capacity, will account for another 10% toward that goal.

The General Motors assembly plant in Fort Wayne will expand its landfill gas utilization to 40% of total consumption, and the Orion plant will expand its utilization to 54% by the time the expansion is completed in May, 2014. General Motors estimates that they’ll save approximately $10 million in utility costs, annually, which means the $24 million investment should pay for itself in just a couple of years. Additionally, recovering landfill gas, mostly methane, will keep this dangerous greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, about 89,000 tonnes, according to General Motors’ calculations.

Image © General Motors

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