We’ve been following General Motors’ renewable energy plans for a long time, and this is the first time that we’ve heard of the global company turning to wind power.
In addition to recycling and energy-efficiency programs, General Motors has set for itself the goal of 125 MW (megawatts) renewable energy capacity by 2020. For the most part, General Motors has been relying on solar power and landfill-gas to meets its goals, nine percent of General Motors North America’s energy needs met by renewable energy. This year, with the installation of a wind power facility, in Palo Alto, Mexico, the company will increase that to over twelve percent!
Jim DeLuca, General Motors Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing, says of his company’s goals, “Our commitment to sustainable manufacturing processes is one way we serve and improve the communities in which we work and live. Using more renewable energy to power our plants helps us reduce costs, minimize risk and leave a smaller carbon footprint.” Regarding General Motors’ adoption of wind power in the Palo Alto region, the company signed a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power, in the midst of constructing a wind farm.
Roughly the equivalent of the output of seventeen wind turbines, 34 MW of wind power will be used to feed three General Motors plants in the area. Most of the Toluca Complex will be powered solely by wind power, with the rest of the 34 MW, about 25%, going to facilities in nearby Silao, San Luis Potosi, and Ramos Arizpe complexes. All told, General Motors calculates it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 40,000 tons annually. When the Enel Green Power Palo Alto wind farm is completed, sometime later this year, General Motors will beat its goal of 125 MW renewable energy by four years! We can’t wait to see where this will lead other companies in their adoption of renewable energy.