GM has announced plans to install solar panels on the roof of its White Marsh, Maryland, transmission assembly plant, making it the first North American factory to get them (GM has solar panels on top of its Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, California parts warehouses as well.) The plant produces six-speed and Two Mode hybrid transmissions for the company’s light-duty trucks. It will be equipped with over 8,700 solar panels covering 300,000 square feet, which will cut the plant’s electricity bill by 20 percent annually by 2009. The panels will generate about 1.4 million kWh of clean, renewable solar energy, which is equivalent to the demand of about 140 to 150 U.S. households with an average annual consumption of 10,000 kWh, GM said.
Best of all for GM, they are paying nothing for the energy-saving system. SunEdison will finance, install, operate and maintain the system, and will make money by keeping some of the electricity generated.