Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
GM's South Korea Facility to have 3MW Solar Installation
General Motors has announced its latest green energy initiative for its assembly plant in Changwon, South Korea. The plant will house a three megawatt solar installation to help reduce the facility's carbon footprint significantly. The initiative in South Korea is in line with similar solar power projects already undertaken by GM in other countries.
GM's Changwon Assembly plant produces some of the newest GM brands such as Chevrolet Spark and Spark EV. The company has made an agreement with KC Cottrell, a leading renewable energy firm, for the construction of its solar power plant at the facility's rooftop.
The solar power installation is expected to produce renewable energy equivalent to the energy required to power 1,200 homes in South Korea for a year. It is the equivalent of providing electricity to 221 homes in the U.S. for a year. Rob Threlkeld, GM's manager of renewable energy, said: "This array will be the fourth-largest in our solar energy portfolio, joining our plants in Germany and Spain that house large solar capacities on their rooftops."
The solar power installation will be built on a 688,000 square-foot rooftop, which is roughly equivalent to the size of 11 American football fields. When operating at top capacity, the installation will generate enough solar energy to reduce carbon emissions at the Changwon Assembly facility by about 2,400 metric tons per year. GM expects the array to become operational in the third quarter of 2013.
GM already has more than 33MW of solar power installed at its facilities around the world. The company's Changwon facility has also recently achieved recognition from the U.S. EPA Challenge for Industry program for cutting down its energy consumption by 10 percent in two years. The facility managed to avoid putting more than 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during this period with the help of innovative energy efficient practices. This also resulted in cost savings of $622,000 for the company.
Threlkeld said: "This announcement reflects GM's commitment to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities, no matter where they are around the globe. By using renewable energy, we reduce our impact and save money at the same time."
Photo Credit: buzzt