Volkswagen USA has just taken the wraps of its new solar farm which will help power its Chattanooga Tennessee plant. The new solar farm cranks out about 9.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to fulfill about 12.5% of the plant’s needs during full operating capacity, and 100% of demand when the plant is not in production.
VW’s new solar farm was built by Phoenix Solar Inc, and consists of 33,600 JA Solar polycrystalline silicon modules located on 33 acres of land.. As a result of a 20 year contract to buy the solar farm’s power output, VW has earned itself a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification for the U.S. Green Building Council, the first automaker to do so.
This is all part of Volkswagen’s “Think Blue” initiative, which has a goal of hitting a 40% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 2010, and is a “broadly focused initiative for all Volkswagen plants to achieve more efficient use of energy, materials and water and produce less waste and emissions,” according the Frank Fischer, the CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Group of America.
The VW plant covers about 1.9 million square feet and is used to make the VW Passat . About 3,000 people are employed there.