GM Goes Green with Chevy Cruze and NECA-IBEW Team

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NECA Contractor Joe “Dickey” Electric and IBEW Local 573 installed 8,500 solar panels and 6,500 energy efficient LED’s at GM’s Lordstown Complex in Ohio

GM Manufacturer in Lordstown, OH

We worked six and seven days a week, 10-hours per day, braving the cold the entire time… a lot during near zero temps

After nearly four decades in operation and the production of more than fifteen million cars, General Motors is revolutionizing its operations at one of its largest assembly plants by reducing its carbon footprint.

Recognized as the greenest manufacturer by the Solar Energy Industries Association, GM has recently completed two new renewable energy projects at its Lordstown Complex - a 6.5-acre solar array outside and the retrofit of more than six thousand LED lights inside. This facility is currently building the Chevrolet Cruze model sedan, the world best-selling compact car.

The first renewable project, situated on an old blacktop parking lot in a highly visible location just off the Ohio Turnpike, is the largest solar array for GM in the western hemisphere. The project’s 8,550 solar panels cover 6.5 acres and will supply 2.2 megawatts of green energy to the plant.

Beginning in early November and brought on line before January 1, 2015, the schedule wasn’t the only challenge for the electrical construction crew -- Mother Nature proved to be as difficult.

“We worked six and seven days a week, 10-hours per day, braving the cold the entire time… a lot during near zero temps,” said Jaime Burdette, general foreman of the crew and IBEW 573 member.

In regards to how much power the solar array generates, there again was Mother Nature posing a challenge. It was nothing the NECA-IBEW Team couldn’t handle however, according to Joe “Dickey” Electric Vice President Eric Carlson. “(The solar panels) are even able to capture the light here in Northeast Ohio, and we have a lot of cloudy days,” Carlson said. “They’ll capture it, that green energy, and get it back into the plant.”

Inside the facility, GM also switched to all LED lights, replacing the existing 40-foot high bay lighting system. LEDs provide much more illumination and brightness to the production process, while saving an estimated eighty-four percent on lighting costs.

For more information on the NECA-IBEW team’s contribution to GM’s renewable energy projects in Lordstown, Ohio, click here to view an informational video or call 303-952-0139.

About NECA/IBEW

ElectricTV is a jointly funded effort from the National Electric Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (NECA-IBEW). These short video documentaries are produced by Oswego Creative in conjunction with the National Labor-Management Cooperative Committee (NLMCC) to help educate the public on a wide range of projects involving these professional organizations and the value they bring to each project.

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Dominic Giarratano
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