General Motors Announces Largest Renewables Purchase To Date


General Motors (GM) has made its largest renewable energy procurement to date, purchasing enough wind power to equal the electricity needs of 16 of its U.S. facilities, including business offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; a major assembly and stamping complex in Arlington, Texas; and 13 parts warehouses east of the Mississippi River.

According to the company, GM will source wind power through an agreement with Renewable Energy Systems (RES), a global renewable energy and energy storage development and construction company. Specifically, GM will purchase 50 MW of power produced at Cactus Flats, a 150 MW wind farm being developed by RES in Concho County, Texas. When the contract begins in the first half of 2018, 6% of GM’s global energy use will be powered by renewable energy.

“GM’s commitment to renewable energy is helping transform the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world, and we’re doing it in a way that makes our company and communities stronger,” says Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “These renewable energy investments drive down greenhouse-gas emissions, reduce our dependence on finite resources, and help keep our air and water clean.

“Investing in Texas wind energy is an important step on a journey that will see clean, renewable sources account for 100 percent of GM’s global energy footprint by 2050,” he adds.

Starting in 2018, GM will source more than 193,000 MWh of electricity from wind annually – enough to power the Austin IT Innovation Center, a GM Financial office in Fort Worth and 13 parts warehouses. GM Arlington Assembly, which is already 50% powered by renewable energy, will have all of its electricity needs met with green power.

GM says it worked with Altenex, an Edison Energy Co. and an independent renewable energy advisor, to identify renewable energy projects in the Texas market and execute the deal.

“RES is proud to support General Motors in reaching its 100 percent renewable energy goal,” says Glen Davis, CEO of RES in the Americas. “RES brings decades of experience to GM and other companies to reduce their carbon footprint and secure low-cost renewable energy for the future.”

As reported, GM announced the purchase at a Business Renewables Center (BRC) meeting at GM’s global headquarters at the Detroit Renaissance Center. GM is a founding member of the BRC, an organization backed by the Rocky Mountain Institute that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of wind and solar energy.

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