GM, DTE Energy partner on Warren solar installation

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Monday that automaker and DTE Energy will build a new 800-kilowatt solar array at GM’s Warren Transmission plant, marking what will be GM’s largest solar installation in the state.

The array will include 2,800 solar panels and will generate about 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which will go back on the electric grid. That’s the equivalent of powering about 135 homes in southeast Michigan.

The automaker said DTE will own the array, which will sit on 4.25 acres of land it leases from GM. It’s expected to be operational in the second quarter of next year.

“By supporting this project and making renewable energy commitments globally, we will surpass our goal to promote 125 megawatts of clean power by 2020,” Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy, said in a statement.

GM has 46 megawatts of solar power at 19 global facilities. The largest today in Michigan is at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant.

Last year, Ford Motor Co. said it was partnering with DTE to build a 1.038 megawatt solar array at the carmaker’s Dearborn world headquarters, enough to power 158 homes. That project features solar panels above covered parking spots to help power electric vehicle charging stations and corporate offices.

DTE has a goal to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources this year.

Employees at the company’s Warren Transmission Plant build front-wheel drive transmissions and the drive unit for the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid.

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