Renault has taken the lead in the automotive industry in getting electricity from solar – last week it turned on a massive 59 megawatt solar array in France.
The solar system consists of 400,000 square meters of solar PV panels at six locations – on the roofs of delivery and shipping centers and on covered employee parking areas. Gestamp Solar did the installations.
That’s just the beginning. In December, 300,000 square meters of solar panels come online in South Korea, and Renault has plans for 100,000 square meters of solar systems around the world – in Romania, Slovenia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Morocco.
The project is part of Renault’s strategic plan to reduce its carbon footprint 10% by 2013 and by a further 10% by 2016.
Here’s what one of the Renault’s six solar arrays looks like:
In the US, General Motors is the largest user of solar in its industry, and the 13th of all companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
2.1% of the energy GM consumes in the US comes from solar and the company plans to reach 60 MW worldwide by 2015 and double that by 2020.
GM has six solar installations at facilities in Ohio, Maryland, California and Michigan. It also has eight electric vehicle charging canopies powered by solar and will build five more next year.