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GM Adding 12 MW Rooftop Solar PV System to Zaragoza Assembly Plant

General Motors is adding what it says is the world’s largest rooftop solar photovoltaic power installation to its car assembly plant located in Figueruelas, Zaragoza, Spain. When the project is completed in the fall of 2008, the Zaragoza solar installation will cover about 2 million ft2 (186 thousand m2) of roof at the plant and generate about 12 megawatts of power at its highest output.

The installation, comprising 85,000 solar panels, will generate about 15.1 million kWh of power annually, which is equivalent to the demand of 4,575 households with an average annual consumption of 3,300 kWh in Spain.

On the Zaragoza project, GM has partnered with Clairvoyant Energy, Veolia Environmental and the Government of Aragon to develop the renewable energy project. United Solar Ovonic will provide UNI-SOLAR thin film flexible solar laminates for the project.

GM will lease their roof space to Clairvoyant Energy and Veolia Environment, who will build, own and operate the rooftop solar installation. The project helps GM reduce costs, while providing green energy to the local community’s power grid.

GM currently has two of the largest solar power installations in the United States on the roofs of its Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana, California parts warehouses. The Rancho Cucamonga project was the first public solar project in the US over 1 megawatt when it began operating in the fall of 2006. The solar panels provide about 50% of the electricity to the facility.

The Fontana project, also 1 megawatt, became operational in December 2007. It generates about 1.3 million kWh of electricity a year, which is about the amount needed to power 200 homes yearly.

The Zaragoza, Spain plant builds the Opel Corsa, Opel Meriva and the Opel Combo for the European marketplace.



Renting rooftops to (solar and wind) power producers is an excellent idea. It may become a very profitable new business. Rooftops owners may gain three ways; (1) rent money. (2) reduced AC cost due to increased roof insulation from hot sunshine. (3) Rare, revenue making, publicity.

If GM has many more good ideas like this one, they may not have to make large size gas guzzlers to survive.


Is General Motors getting greener than Al Gore???

I was not aware that Al Gore was colored green.

Al... short for Al-ien Gore, who is certainly green.


GM wants to make $$$$$$ anyway that it can at this point, while saving as many jobs as possible. This is not simply to look good to the kook granola-eating treehuggers.....


A photo at IHT of the project:

Henry Gibson

The installation and use of solar cells on a building that is connected to a power grid is a waste of money. Only through government incentives paid by the general taxpayer is it possible for anyone to make money on such a deal. The money is better spent on installing power, heat and cooling with CHP units from UTC or others in buildings that are served with natural gas and power. Nuclear power plants are a better investment as well. France ought to build more power plants not for its own use but for export of power to the rest of Europe. Conventional used nuclear fuel has over 90% of its available energy still in it. It is not waste. All the high level waste each person would cause in the persons lifetime, if all the person's electricity came from nuclear, would fit in a drink can.(Cravens) We don't worry about people in the hundred to ten-thousand year future being exposed to traffic accidents, so we have no right to worry about them being exposed to radioactive materials. Norway is now selling a lot of cheap hydro-power to the Dutch over the new cable. When winter or drought comes, even norway may want some French power. The only new nuclear power plants allowed to be built should be those that have no need for water for cooling unless they are on the ocean. ..HG..

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