GM Ventures invests in solar
August 2, 2011 By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
General Motors Ventures LLC has invested $7.5 million US in Sunlogics PLC, a global solar energy systems provider specializing in solar project development and installation. The investment will create 310 jobs, including 110 positions in Canada.
GM also signed commercial agreements with Sunlogics for the installation of solar charging canopies at Chevrolet dealerships and GM facilities, as well as a power purchase agreement to install large-scale solar arrays at GM facilities and purchase the energy they produce.
Sunlogics will use some of the funding to establish its corporate headquarters and open a manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit, and to set up a manufacturing facility in Ontario. The facility in southeast Michigan will create 200 jobs and the Canadian facility will support 110 jobs.
“Global solar energy use is predicted to more than double by 2016, so we believe that investing in renewable energy is a smart and strategic business decision,” said Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures. “And the Chevrolet solar charging canopy project complements our electrification strategy that started with the Chevrolet Volt by helping our cars live up to their fullest green potential.”
Sunlogics’ management has experience developing and operating solar commercial installations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Sunlogics PLC has a strategic relationship with Sunlogics Power Fund Management Inc. and with other entities to own and operate solar projects developed by Sunlogics PLC.
“The investment in Sunlogics allows GM to strategically partner with a leading solar developer and operator that can help GM drive the use of solar, specifically large-scale solar installations at our facilities,” Lauckner said. “Sunlogics was the ideal choice because it is a vertically integrated company that has a global footprint.”
Said Michael Matvieshen, CEO Sunlogics: “GM’s solar expansion and financial commitment provides a firm foundation for the growth of Sunlogics’ business worldwide and will bring more sustainable green energy to GM operations.”
“The partnership provides a new level of opportunity to the larger scale industrial solar projects Sunlogics designs, manufactures and constructs,” Matvieshen said. “We are looking forward to further assisting our customers in reducing their carbon footprint with sustainable renewable energy.”
As part of the announcement, General Motors committed to doubling its solar energy output globally by the end of 2015.
“Our GM facilities currently house 30 megawatts of solar power, and we are committing…to double that capacity to 60 megawatts over the next few years, which is equivalent to powering 10,000 homes annually,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice-president of Energy, Environment & Safety Policy. “Not only does renewable energy make good business sense, it helps us continue to reduce the impact our facilities have on the environment.”