[Video] GM Installing $78 M World's Largest Solar Roof

Earlier this week, GM announced that they were adding the world’s largest, rooftop, solar photovoltaic power installation to its car assembly plant located in Zaragoza, Spain (a factory that manufactures Opel vehicles for sale in Europe).   When the project is completed in the fall of 2008, the solar installation will have 85,000 solar panels covering about 2,000,000 sf of roof space.   Bloomberg further reports that the $78.5 million installation will avoid about 7k tons of emissions per year.

When fully operational, the Zaragoza solar installation will generate about 12 MW of power at its highest output.  The installation 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.

As to the specifics, GM partnered with Clairvoyant Energy, Veolia Environmental, and the Government of Aragon to develop the renewable energy project.  United Solar Ovonic provides the UNI-SOLAR® thin film flexible solar laminates for the project and GM will lease their roof space to Clairvoyant Energy and Veolia Environment, who will build, own, and operate the rooftop solar installation.  The lease is for a term of twenty-five years. 


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  • hd

    Not in the states, though; natch.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      I understand the largest solar roof in the U.S. is the one planned for Atlantic City Convention Center, but it’s only going to be 2.36 MW. GM’s 12 MW roof is going to be gigantic!

  • Bernie Bearnaise

    I couldn’t help noticing that the Opels that they were building had stylish shapes and probably were fuel efficient to cope with the European petrol costs. These cars would sell well in the United States IMO. The GM stable of domestic cars are generic and lack character despite the hype. The Volt is a long time coming and will not serve the average needs of the compact sedan market. GM should either build the Opel brand here and produce it here. Then build the world’s largest solar installation here in the states. They certainly can’t survive on trucks and SUV’s anymore. Eco friendly, fuel efficient and stylish are a potent combination. Did I forget reliability?

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Bernie – no doubt, they should definitely bring Opel to the US. That electric symbol would go nice with a plug-in hybrid or all-electric version, too.

      I remember reading somewhere that way back in the old days, when Opel was a brand in the U.S., some magazine, I can’t remember which, wrote a scathing review of one of their cars. If I remember correctly, that article and the subsequent falling out in consumer confidence with the brand, led to GM shutting down production of Opel vehicles domestically. Maybe it’s time for a revival, as you say!

  • http://www.solararcadia.com Solar Arcadia

    They should do the same thing at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA.

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