GM has its work cut out for it. The company has made a pledge to power all plant operations with renewable energy sources by 2050. More recently, it announced that its Arlington, TX plant – which is responsible for churning out popular SUVs like the Yukon, Suburban, and Escalade – will now be powered by 100% wind energy.
The wind power is coming from the Cactus Flats Wind Farm in Eden, TX, and it also intending to supply at least some of the energy, for now, at GM’s other Texas locations.
GM’s global manager of renewable energy Rob Threlkeld sees several benefits in the switch, one of which – he told the Detroit Free Press – is to position the Big 3 automaker as a “green” company. The other is cost savings.
According to the blog GM Authority, “GM has already saved $73 million this year by using greener and renewable energy sources.” Secondly, Threlkeld says the company benefits from the stability of these energy sources in comparison to the price spikes that come along with more traditional energy sources.
In fact, he acknowledges that wind and solar are actually the lowest cost resources in Texas, where electricity purchases are deregulated – meaning the economy of the initiative is probably the driving factor, especially when you consider GM isn’t exactly hugging any trees by kicking out 1,200 large, gas-guzzling SUVs per day in Arlington.
That said, each large corporation who takes strides towards clean energy means more pressure on their competitors to do the same.
Currently, the company is about 20% of the way towards its renewable energy goal.