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Volkswagen inaugurates solar park in the USA
• Largest solar facility of the Volkswagen brand in the world
• Eco-friendly power for Passat production in Chattanooga
Today, the Volkswagen brand has inaugurated its largest solar facility in the world at its US plant in Chattanooga. The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park has a peak output of 9.5 megawatts and is the largest solar facility operated by an automaker in the USA. The environmentally compatible power is to be used for Passat production
Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said: "We are proud to inaugurate today the largest solar park of an automaker in USA. This facility is a key part of our "Think Blue. Factory." program and further proof of Volkswagen's worldwide commitment to environmental protection. Once again, we are setting standards in efficient, sustainable production."
The Volkswagen Group Officer for the Environment, Energy and New Business Areas, Wolfram Thomas, stated: "The new solar park is an integral part of Volkswagen's worldwide strategy of generating more and more power within the Group from renewable energy sources."
The expected annual output of the about 33,600 crystal solar modules installed on an area of 13 hectares around the plant is about 13,100 megawatt-hours per year. The power is to be used directly in production, with solar power providing 12.5 percent of the electric power required in full-capacity operation and meeting 100 percent of demand when the plant is not in production.
Partners in the project are the Californian subsidiary of Phoenix Solar AG, Sulzemoos near Munich, and Silicon Ranch, headquartered in Nashville/Tennessee.
The Chattanooga plant has a workforce of more than 3000 people, who are producing the new Volkswagen Passat especially developed for the North American market.
As a result of extremely environmentally compatible production at the plant, Volkswagen in Chattanooga has already received several awards. In December 2011, Volkswagen was the first automaker in the world to receive the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification.
The company also operates an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 and an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001.
Matthew Kisber, President und CEO of Silicon Ranch: "We are proud to implement this key project as a partner of Volkswagen. The commissioning of this park will improve the energy efficiency of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga and confirm Volkswagen's position as a company with leading environmental standards throughout the world. The solar power generated at this park will have a strong positive impact not only on the environment but also on our economy."
Dr. Murray Cameron, Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Solar AG and currently also President und CEO of Phoenix Solar Inc.: "Over the next few years, the USA will become one of the largest photovoltaic markets in the world. We are proud that we have been able to demonstrate our experience in the design and construction of major solar power facilities at the Volkswagen plant."
About Volkswagen in Chattanooga
Volkswagen has invested about $1 billion in the facility, creating more than 5000 jobs in the region to date. According to independent studies, the Volkswagen facility is expected to boost income in the region by $12 billion and lead to the creation of a total of 9500 jobs. The US plant produces the new Volkswagen Passat developed especially for the North American market, which won the Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year award.
About Silicon Ranch
Silicon Ranch Corporation develops and operates utility scale solar facilities. Silicon Ranch is distinguished from other developers by its ability to deliver a green energy solution that addresses the environmental, business and work force issues associated with successfully expanding solar capacity and green jobs. Silicon Ranch has gained prominence as a low cost producer of solar energy by focusing on creating efficiencies through every step of the deployment process thereby increasing capital investments in clean energy.
About Phoenix Solar AG
Phoenix Solar AG, which has its headquarters in Sulzemoos near Munich, is a leading international photovoltaic system integrator. The Group develops, plans, builds and operates large-scale photovoltaic plants and is a specialist wholesaler for turnkey power plants, solar modules and accessories. With sales operations throughout Germany and subsidiaries throughout the world, the company has sold solar modules with an output of more than one gigawatt since its founding.