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.