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EGEB: GM to power Tennessee manufacturing plant entirely with solar

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • GM will power its largest site, which is in Tennessee, with solar energy sourced from the TVA.
  • New Jersey’s largest solar plant has been completed.
  • The Mexican government cites the pandemic as a reason for rolling back renewables growth.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

GM embraces solar in a big way

General Motors (GM) will power its Spring Hill, Tennessee, manufacturing plant entirely from solar by late 2022 at cost. It is making an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to acquire solar power from one of its utility-owned solar farms.

GM is buying the solar power through the TVA’s Green Invest program. GM’s goal is to source all of its energy from renewables in the US by 2030. Spring Hill will boost GM to more than 50% sourced renewable electricity use by 2023.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports:

GM’s vehicle assembly plant in Spring Hill will get 100 megawatts of solar power from the 200-megawatts plant TVA contracted with Origis Energy earlier this year to build near Columbus, Mississippi.

Spring Hill Manufacturing is the largest GM site in North America, totaling 2,100 acres, and currently builds the GMC Acadia and the Cadillac XT5 and XT6. Seven hundred acres of GM’s Spring Hill facility are dedicated to farming, with an additional 100 acres dedicated to wildlife habitat, composing of wetlands and native grasses.

New Jersey reaches a solar milestone

The largest solar project in New Jersey has been completed by CS Energy, which designs and builds
optimized projects in the solar, storage, and emerging energy industries.

Ben Moreell Solar Farm and the Department of the Navy executed a lease for approximately 170 acres of land for the purpose of constructing a 28.5MW ground-mount project located at Naval Weapons Station Earle (NWS Earle) in Tinton Falls, northwest of Asbury Park.

CS Energy has installed more than 80MW of solar energy projects on military bases globally.

New Jersey aims to source 100% of its energy from net zero sources by 2050.

Green energy halted in Mexico

The Mexican government declared over the weekend that its aging fossil-fuel plants will get a reprieve, citing their reason as the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC News reports:

Industry associations said it will affect 28 solar and wind projects that were ready to go online, and 16 more under construction, with a total of $6.4 billion in investments, much of it from foreign firms.

The government’s explanation?

[They] will allow the National Electrical System to ensure reliability in the face of a decrease in demand for electrical power due to the pandemic, and due to the fact that renewable energy projects are intermittent and produce oscillation in the electrical system and cause interruptions. Power feeds from these sources will have to be postponed during the pandemic.

If the oil isn’t used, there’s nowhere for it to go, and no money to subsidize the old power plants. And the national grid would be expected to struggle with new projects coming online.

Further, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is known as a supporter of the state-owned oil industry who dislikes green energy and private-sector energy projects.

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.