Fort Wayne Assembly Powered by Wide Array of Renewables

Fort Wayne Assembly Powered by Wide Array of Renewables

Truck plant is GM’s 18th facility to use solar power at operations
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.@GM FastLane: Our Fort Wayne plant is home to the @Chevrolet Silverado, @ThisIsGMC Sierra and now a #solar array

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 12:10pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Energy Efficiency


While many spent December putting up lights on Christmas trees, our assembly plant in Indiana was installing an entirely different lighting project: a 100-foot-long, 14.4 kilowatt ground-mounted solar array

Fort Wayne Assembly, which builds the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, finished construction of its first solar array last month.

Though it may seem unusual to install an array at the start of winter, solar panels actually operate just as efficiently in winter than in summer. That’s because solar panels work on light, not heat, so the cooler temperatures do not impact energy production.

Although fewer daylight hours result in a lower production of energy, snow on the ground can provide a temporary boost to electricity production when sunlight reflects onto solar panels, similar to how a skier can still get a sunburn on a sunny winter day from the sun’s reflection. As long as the panels are not covered in snow, they will continue to produce power.

This may be its first solar array, but Fort Wayne Assembly has an impressive track record when it comes to energy use. The plant was named an ENERGY STAR® Certified Facility for energy management, performing in the top 25th percentile of similar facilities nationwide. Additionally, Fort Wayne met ENERGY STAR’s Challenge for Industry by reducing energy intensity by 22 percent in three years.

Solar isn’t the only renewable energy powering the plant. Thirty percent of Fort Wayne’s energy comes from methane gas extracted from a nearby landfill – and none of the facility’s daily waste goes to one either. Fort Wayne was our first assembly plant in the U.S. to go landfill-free.

We now house 46 megawatts of solar power at 18 of our facilities around the world and continue to expand our solar portfolio. By harnessing the power of the sun we can ensure a brighter energy future.