General Motors is adding what it claims is the world’s largest rooftop solar power installation to its car assembly plant in Figueruelas, Zaragoza, Spain. When the project is completed in the fall of 2008, 85,000 solar panels will cover about 2,000,000 sq. ft. of roof at the plant.
When fully operational, the Zaragoza solar installation will generate about 12 megawatts of power at its highest output. The installation will generate about 15.1 million kWh of power annually, which is equivalent to the demand of 4,575 households with an average annual consumption of 3,300 kWh in Spain.
On the Zaragoza project, GM has partnered with Clairvoyant Energy, Veolia Environmental and the Government of Aragon. United Solar Ovonic will provide thin film flexible solar laminates for the project.
GM will lease their roof space to Clairvoyant Energy and Veolia Environment, who will build, own and operate the system.
General Motors’ Chairman and Chief Executive G. Richard Wagoner Jr.recently announced the company’s plans to undergo some structural changes, including shutting four truck plants, eliminating 10,000 jobs, plans to introduce a new line of compacts for North America and increasing the production of cars like the electric Chevy Volt that the company will begin marketing in 2010. Wagoner also said GM is considering everything from repositioning or selling the Hummer brand.