General Motors has announced that it will soon be able to power more than half of its Arlington Assembly’s plant output with wind power.
General Motors, GM, one of the world’s leading multi-national vehicle manufacturers, announced earlier this month that its Arlington Assembly plant, located in Texas, would soon be using electricity sourced through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EDP Renewables North America. Specifically, 30 MW from the 250 MW Hidalgo Wind Farm in Edinburg will provide electricity to the plant, allowing it to build up to 125,000 trucks a year using wind power.
“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.”
The Arlington Assembly plant is currently expected to start making use of the wind generated electricity during the fourth quarter of 2016, and will then begin saving approximately $2.8 million in energy costs annually through a 14-year deal that will also see GM avoid more than 1 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions — or the equivalent of emissions from 112 million gallons of consumed gasoline.
“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with General Motors and look forward to providing clean and more economical energy for GM’s Arlington Assembly plant in the coming years,” said EDP Renewables North America CEO Gabriel Alonso.
Being soon powered by renewable energy isn’t the only environmentally friendly achievement the Arlington Assembly plant can boast; the plant recently met the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry by reducing the energy intensity of its operations by 10% over 5 years, and is also investing in a new paint shop that will use half the energy of the existing paint shop.
GM itself isn’t new to renewable energy either, with the first quarter of 2016 set to see three of its facilities in Mexico powered by wind energy, meeting the company’s commitments to use 125 MW of renewable energy by 2020.
Earlier this year, EDP Renewables North America executive vice president, Steve Irvin, went on record praising the United States’ Production Tax Credit policy, which he said was hugely responsible for the growth of wind energy in Texas — the location of the Hidalgo Wind Farm. “The strong activity we’re seeing in Texas right now can be traced back to a strong, successful policy – namely the PTC,” he said. “Extending the tax credit is critical for us to have the stability we need to plan our business and do our part to help grow this homegrown industry.”
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