published Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

VW in Chattanooga cited as a top green power user nationally

John Voelcker, editor of HighGear Media, gets a closer look at the solar panels at Volkswagen's new solar park.
John Voelcker, editor of HighGear Media, gets a closer look at the solar panels at Volkswagen's new solar park.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant has made a top 20 Environmental Protection Agency ranking for green power usage.

The plant, which recently officially turned on its $25 million solar park, was named No. 11 on EPA’s list of the largest green power purchasers in the U.S.

The solar park produces enough power to meet 12 percent of the Chattanooga factory’s electricity use. It’s the biggest solar installation at any U.S. auto factory, according to the German automaker.

“Using green power helps our organization to improve our environmental efficiency according to Volkswagen’s Think Blue factory strategy and confirms our status as the only LEED Platinum certified auto plant in the world,” said Frank Fischer, CEO VW’s Chattanooga operations in a statement.

According to EPA, the solar park’s production is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually.

The solar park is owned and managed by a Nashville-based company, Silicon Ranch, which sells the electricity to VW.

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