For such a large and complex operation, going carbon-neutral presents a lot of challenges; GM has set 2030 as its neutrality goal. But at its Spring Hill, Tenn. manufacturing facility, the solar solution will commence operation much sooner through TVA’s Green Invest program. There, operations will be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2022.
At 2,100 acres, Spring Hill is GM’s largest facility in North America, and the company builds the GMC Acadia, the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 models, as well as several engines at the Tennessee Valley plant. Its operations will require 100 MW of power.
Through Green Invest, TVA brokered a competitive bidding process to identify the right provider at the right cost for large-scale solar on behalf of GM. The result is that GM will secure half of the 200 MW solar farm recently announced by TVA in Lowndes County, Miss., currently being developed (pending environmental review) by Origis Energy.
“Green Invest is flexible and responsive, able to meet the sustainability goals of large power consumers, from automotive manufacturers like GM to universities to local power companies,” says Jamie Bach, manager at Renewable Energy Solutions.
“We can use economies of scale to offer new-to-the-world industrial scale solutions for any industrial customers undertaking serious green initiatives,” adds Bach.
The GM announcement comes after wo other major Green Invest partnerships. In March, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) committed to use Green Invest to produce carbon-free energy equivalent to 8% of KUB’s annual electric load. TVA’s first Green Invest agreement between TVA, Nashville Electric Service, Vanderbilt University and Silicon Ranch for 35 MW of new solar for the university was announced in January.