General Motors has announced that its Arlington, Texas, assembly plant will soon use 30 MW of wind energy to power its operations – enough to build more than half of the plant's annual vehicle output.
The automaker has signed a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables North America, a fully owned subsidiary of EDP Renovaveis, for 30 MW from the planned 250 MW Hidalgo Wind Farm in Edinburg, Texas. GM will receive power from 15 of the wind farm's 261-foot-tall turbines, and the company says the renewable energy it is buying will be enough to manufacture up to 125,000 trucks a year.
The Arlington plant produces more than 1,200 vehicles daily, including the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe; GMC Yukon and Yukon XL; and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.
GM expects to start using the clean power during the fourth quarter of 2016, avoiding about $2.8 million in energy costs annually. Over the course of the 14-year deal, GM estimates it will avoid more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the emissions of 112 million gallons of gasoline consumed.
"Our investment is helping accelerate the proliferation of clean energy in Texas and the use of wind as a reliable, renewable source of energy," says Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of global manufacturing. "Our sustainable manufacturing mindset benefits the communities in which we operate across the globe."
"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," comments EDP Renewables North America CEO Gabriel Alonso.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2016, wind energy will also help power three GM facilities in Mexico, thus allowing the company to exceed its commitment to use 125 MW of renewable energy by 2020. GM says its investments in renewables to date have yielded nearly $80 million in savings.