DETROIT — General Motors will be using wind to power its manufacturing operations for the first time, enabling one of its Mexico facilities electricity needs to be powered on renewable energy — adding 34 megawatts of wind power, the equivalent of 17 wind turbines, achieving its corporate goal of renewable energy four years early.
“Mexico is an ideal location for our first wind project,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “Energy is fed to a national grid, making it easier to reduce or add energy capacity at a facility. There’s also a good business case as prices for traditional power are about a third greater than the United States.
More than 12 percent of GM’s North American energy consumption will come from renewable energy sources when construction of the wind farm finishes — up from 9 percent before the project started.
Seventy-five percent of the energy coming from wind turbines will power most of the 104 acre Tolcuca Complex — making it the company’s largest user of renewable energy. The remaining capacity will help power Filao, San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe complexes, says Sharon Basel, spokeswomen for GM. The use of renewable energy helps avoid 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
“Our commitment to sustainable manufacturing processes is one way we serve and improve the communities in which we work and live,” says Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Using more renewable energy to power our plants helps us reduce costs, minimize risk and leave a smaller carbon footprint.”