General Motors Co. has signed its largest wind deal to date, in a move that will allow 16 of its facilities, including the entirety of its Texas operations, to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2018.
The Nov. 16 announcement from the Detroit-based automaker is the latest in a string of large corporate renewable energy deals, most recently following an announcement from Microsoft Corp. about its largest deal to date, also for Texas wind power.
Through an agreement with development and construction company Renewable Energy Systems, GM will purchase 50 MW of power produced at Cactus Flats, a 150-MW wind farm being developed by RES in Concho County, Texas, GM said in a news release. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but GM says its investment in one-third of the wind farm is helping to enable its development.
When the contract begins in the first half of 2018, 6% of GM’s global energy use will be powered by renewable energy. GM in September in announced a commitment to generate or source all electrical power for its 350 operations in 59 countries with 100% renewable energy — such as wind, sun and landfill gas — by 2050.
“GM’s commitment to renewable energy is helping transform the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world, and we’re doing it in a way that makes our company and communities stronger,” GM global manager of renewable energy said in. “These renewable energy investments drive down greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on finite resources, and help keep our air and water clean.”
GM worked with Edison Energy unit Altenex to identify renewable energy projects in the Texas market and execute the deal. Edison Energy is a subsidiary of Edison International.
The announcement kicked off an invitation-only Business Renewables Center workshop being held at GM’s Detroit headquarters. GM is a founding member of the BRC, an organization backed by the Rocky Mountain Institute that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of wind and solar energy.
Editor’s note: Threlkeld is a Smart Energy Decisions advisory board member.