GM solar panel installation in process

By Kalea Hall


Solar panels now can be seen outside of the General Motors Lordstown plant.

Solscient Energy, a Toledo-based company that does solar development for commercial and industrial customers, was at the plant Tuesday with workers from a couple of local companies.

“This is one of our bigger projects,” said Granger Souder, co-owner of Solscient Energy. “Our goal is to have it done by the end of the year.”

GM announced the Lords-town solar project in October.

Souder said they have been working at the site, which was just an open area before, for about a month.

The work includes site preparation, installation of the steel racks that hold the panels and then installing the more than 8,500 solar panels.

The steel racks were made in the Mahoning Valley by Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals of Youngstown.

On the site helping to complete the 2.2-megawatt ground-mounted solar array are about 25 workers.

Companies on the job include Dickey Electric of North Lima and Sheldon Gantt Inc. of Niles.

The solar panels at Lords-town are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 1.5 percent of the plant.

GM has made a commitment to increasing its use of renewable energy by 2020.

The Lordstown announcement came about a year after the completion of the 1.8-megawatt solar array on the rooftop of GM’s Toledo transmission facility, which is the largest rooftop array in the state.

It produces enough energy to power 149 homes in the U.S. for a year.

GM’s goal is to meet 125 megawatts of renewable energy deployed globally by 2015.

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