Empower Energies, a leading clean energy project solutions company, today announced the commissioning of an 850 kilowatt solar array at General Motors' Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Corvette.
The new photovoltaic (PV) solar array is expected to generate 1,200,000 kilowatts of electricity in its first year of operation, enough to produce about 850 Corvettes.
"Projects like this solar array at our Bowling Green plant help send a message that renewable energy is a sustainable and affordable choice for manufacturing," said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. "As the automotive industry leader of solar energy use in the United States, we want to demonstrate the benefits of solar use, like reducing our impact on the environment and providing value to our customers and investors."
Empower Energies served as the general contractor for the project, completing the intricate installation process with J. Ranck Electric of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, a designated Solar Flexrack installer, that installed the racking system and the solar panels. Electrical partner PayneCrest Electric, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri, completed the wiring, testing, and commissioning of the system. Civil work was handled by The Boldt Company of Appleton, Wisconsin. Each of these partners have completed contracted projects at other local GM facilities.
Now in full operation, the solar array will produce over one million kilowatts of energy per year, enough electricity to power 89 homes annually. Use of renewable resources will avoid an estimated 814,000 pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year, equivalent to the amount of CO2 consumed by 620 acres of trees.
"Corvette is such a quintessential brand," said Len Jornlin, Empower Energies CEO. "To be involved in providing affordable clean energy to build the Corvette has been a privilege and a delight for us…but not a surprise. GM's renewable energy initiatives lead the automotive industry."
"As always, we were pleased to be able to work with GM, this time at their Bowling Green facility, to help them deliver on their commitment. We look forward to working with GM to help provide the right mix of renewable energy projects to meet their business, resiliency, and sustainability objectives in the near future."