General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy have just released a joint press statement with a provocative title. Apparently, the two companies are getting "steamy" with each other. What they really meant is that GM and Detroit Renewable Energy, a consortium of renewable energy generation and distribution companies, are working together to turn solid municipal waste from the Detroit metro area into process steam that will heat and cool portions of GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. We can hardly think of anything less sexy.
When it's all up and running, 58 percent of the plant's energy will come from renewable sources. GM has put a lot of resources into creating "landfill-free" facilities around the world – 107 of them reuse their waste, with some of it turned into energy. Out of all of GM's facilities, Detroit-Hamtramck will have the highest energy percentage coming from renewables, GM said.
The steam will travel 8,300 feet through a pipeline that starts at Detroit Renewable and ends at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. The steam pipe will be providing 15.8 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to the GM plant. Detroit Renewable processes more than one million tons of municipal sold waste into electric power and steam annually, while also recycling nearly 40,000 tons of metal.
The Detroit-Hamtramck plant and its 15.8 MW will make up about 12 percent of GM's corporate goal of putting 125 MW of renewables into its energy portfolio by 2020. Construction of the new steam line and energy infrastructure is supposed to start later this month and could become operational next spring.
When the project is operational, 58 percent of the plant's energy needs will come from renewable energy, making Detroit-Hamtramck the top GM facility in the world by percentage of renewable energy used.
"We have 107 landfill-free facilities across the globe that recycle or reuse their waste, with some of it turned into energy," said Rob Threlkeld, GM's global manager of renewable energy. "It made sense to explore this option with DRE at Detroit-Hamtramck, given their quality work in helping us manage our energy use at some of our other GM plants."
Detroit Renewable is able to process more than 1 million tons of municipal solid waste into electric power and steam while also recycling nearly 40,000 tons of metal annually.
The steam will travel 8,300 feet through a pipe originating at Detroit Renewable Power and ending at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
"We have a long history of working with GM in providing energy to its assembly plants," said Detroit Renewable Energy Chairman and CEO Steven White. "To incorporate a sustainable and renewable energy source into the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant makes a significant addition to the value chain."
The steam pipe will provide 15.8 megawatts of renewable energy to the plant, which equates to 12 percent of GM's overall goal of putting 125 megawatts of renewable energy into its energy portfolio by 2020.
Construction of the new steam line and associated energy infrastructure will begin later this month and become operational next spring.
For more information on GM's environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
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Detroit Renewable Energy is the holding company formed in 2010 for the independent operations of Detroit Thermal, LLC, provider of renewable energy-based steam for heating and cooling; Detroit Renewable Power LLC, operator of the Detroit energy-from-waste plant; and Hamtramck Energy Services LLC, operator of private steam and waste water treatment plants at seven General Motors facilities.