Tennessee plant largest automaker solar park in U.S.
Volkswagen flipped the switch on their new 33-acre (133,000 square-metre) solar park next to their Passat sedan assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee January 23.
The 9.5-megawatt photovoltaic installation is the largest used by any automaker in North America, reports Bloomberg.
It should supply the plant with roughly 13 percent of its energy needs during production hours, and all of its electricity when assembly lines are down.
Even before the solar setup was built, the plant, opened May 2011, had earned itself a top-level platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council — it's the first in the industry to do so.
The solar park was built by Germany's Phoenix Solar AG and is owned by Nashville, Tennessee-based Silicon Ranch Corp. The corporation will sell power to the VW plant under a 20-year supply contract.
VW also operates solar power generation setups at its plants in Wolfsburg and Emden, Germany.
(Bloomberg via Automotive News)