Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC announced Tuesday that for the first time it appears as number 11 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Top 20 On-site list of the largest green power purchasers. Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC hosts an on-site solar array, where more than 13 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually are generated, which is enough green power to meet 12 percent of the organization's electricity use. The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park is the biggest solar installation at any U.S. auto factory.
“This is a huge honor and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “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.”
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. On-site green power is deployed directly at energy users’ facilities rather than at central power plants. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
“EPA is excited to welcome Volkswagen Chattanooga as a Green Power Partner and applauds the organization’s impressive use of on-site solar power,” said Blaine Collison, director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “Volkswagen Chattanooga is helping to reduce harmful air pollution and demonstrating that using green power is smart for the environment and for business.”
According to the U.S. EPA, Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations’ on-site green power generation of more than 13,000,000 kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes annually.
Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations LLC runs the first and only automotive plant worldwide that was awarded with the LEED Platinum certification of the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Its new paint shop saves the use of 20,000 gallons of water per day by its innovate dry scrubber technology, while its water harvesting system provides about six million gallons of water annually for restrooms and cooling circuits in the body shop. The plant is certified according to ISO 14001 for its environmental management system and according to ISO 50001 for its energy management system.