GM Breaks Ground on Electric-Motor Plant

May 19, 2011
Baltimore-area facility will be powered partially by rooftop solar panels.

General Motors earlier this week broke ground on an expansion project at its White Marsh, Md., complex that will enable the automaker to build components for electric vehicles.

GM is investing $270 million to add to electric-motor design and production to the Baltimore Operations complex, which houses GM's two-mode hybrid and heavy-duty transmission operations.

"We believe the future of sustainable transportation is electrically driven vehicles, and this facility will help us maintain a leadership position within this category," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, energy, environment and safety Policy. "It's fitting that green 'motors of the future' are being built at a facility well recognized for ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact."

Constellation Energy installed these solar panels on the roof of the two-mode hybrid and heavy-duty transmission building at GM's Baltimore Operations complex. The solar array will provide 9% of the energy to run the plant, according to GM.
The campus will be powered partially by a 1.23-megawatt rooftop solar array, which GM expects to generate 9% of its annual energy consumption and save approximately $330,000 during the life of the project. "By harnessing solar energy from this array, GM will offset up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air per year - equivalent to the emissions from 216 passenger vehicles," Robinson said. Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the solar-power system, and GM will purchase all of the electricity generated by the solar panels under a 20-year power-purchase agreement. The automaker noted that its Baltimore Operations generates no landfill waste. It earned zero-landfill status in 2007 by recycling, reusing or converting to energy all wastes from daily operations, according to GM. In the United States, 1.4% of GM's energy consumption comes from renewable-energy sources such as solar and hydro power and landfill gas, according to the automaker. See Also:
About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!