By establishing the largest single solar installation at an automotive manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen is going green in a big was. The 9.5 megawatt solar system has been powered up and provides 12.5 percent of electric energy to the German automaker’s LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing plant. This plant is the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive the top LEED certification.
The Solar Park spans across 33 acres and will product 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. Volkswagen will buy the electricity from the owners of the Solar Park, Silicon Ranch, as part of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement.
“We are proud to power up the biggest solar park of any car manufacturer in North America today.” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations LLC. “The solar park,” he said, “is another proof point of Volkswagen‘s worldwide commitment to environmental protection under its ‘Think Blue Factory’ philosophy, a broadly focused initiative for all Volkswagen plants to achieve more efficient use of energy, material and water and produce less waste and emissions.” Mr. Fischer added, “Powering up the solar park also validates the awarding of the LEED Platinum certificate to Volkswagen Chattanooga, which is still the only car factory in the world that had earned such an honor.”