General Motors has taken a number of significant steps to make their vehicles greener, and they are doing similar things with their manufacturing plants, as well. This week, the company has made two announcements about using rooftop solar arrays to power its manufacturing facilities.
The Detroit–Hamtramck plant, which produces the Chevy Volt, will be having a 516 kilowatt solar array installed on six acres of land on the south side of the plant as part of a cooperative venture with the local electrical utility company, DTE. Using power from the solar array is expected to save GM $15,000 per year.
There has been some controversy concerning the location of this year’s Solar Decathlon competition, but the contest/educational event is back on the National Mall in the nation’s capital, and twenty finalist teams have been picked to display their innovative, solar-powered homes at the final competition.
Among the teams that made the final cut in this international competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, is the University of Maryland, which recently unveiled Watershed, its qualifying entry this year. Like all Solar Decathlon homes, Watershed runs exclusively on solar power–unlike most other homes, this one was designed to make the most of water and in so doing, protect the Chesapeake Bay.