All of General Motors’ Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities will soon meet their electricity needs with 100% renewable energy, thanks to GM’s new purchase of 200 MW of wind power.
GM will be the sole user of the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, a 100 MW project owned by Starwood Energy Group, and Swift Current Energy will provide 100 MW from its HillTopper Wind Project in Logan County, Ill. Altenex, an Edison Energy company and independent renewable energy advisor, supported GM in the negotiation of the new power purchase agreements.
The new wind deals are enough to meet the electricity needs of the Fort Wayne Assembly, Marion Metal Center and Bedford Casting plants in Indiana, as well as the Lordstown Assembly, Defiance Casting Operations, Parma Metal Center and Toledo Transmission plants in Ohio. Once the turbines come online by the end of 2018, renewable energy will power 20% of GM’s global electricity use.
GM says it is leveraging energy efficiency and a mix of on-site and off-site renewable energy solutions to reach a 100% renewable energy goal. The company’s four-part strategy acknowledges how its energy and product strategies intersect: As GM works toward advancing zero-emissions vehicles, it makes business sense to create a cleaner grid on which to drive them, according to the automaker.
“We’re helping provide solutions to green the grid through these new renewable energy deals and sharing best practices with other companies so they, too, can reduce risk and energy costs,” comments Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy. “With a pragmatic strategy, companies can turn ambitious renewable energy goals into action and scale quickly.”
GM made its first wind purchase in 2014 for several of its Mexico operations, followed by deals supporting Texas wind farms for 30 MW and 50 MW of energy. The company also uses solar power at 26 facilities and generates electricity from landfill gas at two assembly plants.