9 July 2008

General Motors

World's largest rooftop solar power station being built in Zaragoza

9 July 2008 - General Motors Europe announced a commitment to energy efficiency with the construction of the world's largest capacity rooftop solar power station. Veolia Environnement and Clairvoyant Energy are building a solar power station with a capacity of 10 Mega Watts at GM's Zaragoza plant, which assembles more than 480.000 vehicles a year. As part of the scheme initiated by GM, the rooftop power station will be owned and operated by a joint-venture company comprised of Veolia Environnement, Clairvoyant Energy and the Government of Aragon.

Annual output from the photovoltaic solar power station at Figueruelas near Zaragoza is expected to be 15,1 million kWh, sufficient to meet the demand of 4.600 households with an average annual consumption of 3.300 kWh. Operational at the end of September, 2008, the rooftop power station will feed electric current into the local grid of Red Electrica and sell the energy to Endesa.


The massive solar array designed by Veolia Environnement and Clairvoyant will consist of 85.000 light-weight solar modules with an active photovoltaic surface area of 183.000 square meters and provide for an annual reduction in CO2-emissions of 6.7 thousand tons.

The solar power station on the roof of the Zaragoza plant is the third one on GM facilities worldwide. "GM's Zaragoza plant will become home of the biggest rooftop solar power station worldwide. This has significant potential to reduce costs at the plant, and we will evaluate the results of the Zaragoza rooftop power station for possible similar energy projects at GM Europe's 11 assembly plants and eight component plants. Underlining our vital commitment to environmental compatibility, this solar energy project links to GM's larger advanced technology strategy that supports extended range electric vehicles and the use of alternative energy for propulsion", said GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster.


For the government of Aragon the rooftop solar power station is an important pilot project towards the large scale use of solar energy: "The decision to locate this European reference project at the manufacturing plant in Figueruelas close to Zaragoza is of great importance. The project partners make pace for a new energetic balance for Aragon and for Spain. The biggest rooftop solar power station worldwide being built in Aragon is another proofpoint for the leadership of this region in terms of renewable energy", said Arturo Aliaga, the Aragon Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.