Sometimes solar arrays get a bad name for being too ‘needy.’
In other words, the common perception is that they need a big, open, flat field that receives a lot of direct sunlight with minimum cloud cover to operate at full capacity.
However, General Motors is demonstrating that this need for space is not always the case by breaking ground on a Solar Tracking Tree® at General Motors’ Milford Proving Ground.
Envision Solar produces the trees that operate on a multi-axis tracking system, which allows it to capture 25 percent more solar power than a conventional array. The new structure will provide 30,000 kilowatt hours of solar power a year in addition to charging six electric vehicles per day.
“Envision’s Solar Tree is an ideal renewable energy solution because it gives us the ability to pull solar power from an area where traditional methods aren’t feasible due to space restrictions, like in a parking lot,” said Rob Threlkeld, global manager – renewable energy, General Motors. “Structures like this will go a long way in helping us reach our renewable energy goals.”
Last year, GM committed to doubling its global solar output by the end of 2015 and further increase renewable energy use to 125 MW by 2020.
This is the second Solar Tracking Tree® on GM property. In November 2011, the two companies cut the ribbon on a solar tree at a GM site in Warren, Mich.