Zaragoza (Spain) – General Motors wants solar panel bragging rights and is installing millions of square feet of photovoltaic panels at its Zaragoza Spain car factory. The company is rolling in 85000 panels covering approximately two million square feet. In a press conference this week, GM said the panels will produce 12 megawatts of electricity which is enough to power 4600 households or one-third of the factory.
Unlike traditional bulky solar panels, GM is using rolled panels made by Energy Conversion Devices that can be installed like carpet. The company estimates the panels will generate 15.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year and will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6700 tons annually. Excess power will be sold to local utilities in a 25-year agreement.
GM executives estimate the final cost will be approximately $78 million. The panels should be generating power by September.
The GM Zaragoza plant manufactures 480000 vehicles a year. GM has similar rooftop installations in several factories in the United States and Europe.