Tim Shults
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GM Orion Plant Honored as 8th Biggest Green Power User

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The General Motors’ Orion Assembly plant was recently named the eighth largest user of Green Power generated onsite in the United States by the EPA

Doesn’t it make sense the Chevy Bolt EV would be manufactured at one of the greenest plants in the US?
Photo: © General Motors

There are a variety of ways that the General Motors Orion Assembly facility tries to reduce its environment footprint, but none of them are quite as effective as the nearby landfill that is used to power more than half of the plant using methane captured from decomposing trash, which helped it earn the honor of being the eighth leading user of Green Power that’s created onsite in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition to its use of methane, the GM Orion Assembly also makes use of a 350-kilowatt solar array that is used to return power back to the grid. Moreover, another way the Orion plant is able to conserve energy is through its “three-wet” painting process, which applies three layers of paint to each vehicle before sending it through the oven just one time.

Through the use of these unique energy saving strategies, GM reports that the Orion plant is able to save $1 million a year and is expected to reach its goal of using 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, and it’s expected to reach that goal by the end of 2016.

While the Orion Assembly has fashioned a number of GM vehicles in its history, its current focus is on producing the new Chevy Bolt EV, which will provide a 200-mile electric range.

“Building the Bolt EV in a facility that is 54 percent powered by clean energy further adds to the car’s environmental credentials,” said Alicia Boler-Davis, GM vice president of global manufacturing. “It’s an example of how we live our global sustainable manufacturing commitment while improving our bottom line.”

In 2013, the Orion plant was able to reduce its energy intensity by 67% in just a two year period, which helped it pass the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR challenge.

Gallery: A Look Inside the GM Orion Assembly

Tim Shults likes to play golf and spend time with his four daughters.