Rate this video:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Welcome back to another edition of Electric TV, the source for electrical industry construction news, information and entertainment. I’m your host, Dominic Giarratano.

The Chevrolet Cruze, the world’s best-selling compact car – comes in a variety of colors: Blue Ray, Red Hot, Autumn Bronze, and also Rainforest Green, among others.

But to General Motors – ‘being green’ means much, much more than just a paint color. How much? GM has been recognized as the Greenest Manufacturer, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Its newest carbon-cutting initiative just went online, so let’s head out to Ohio and check it out.

The GM Lordstown Complex, named after the Ohio town where it exists, has been in operation since 1966. At over 15 million cars, this facility is among the highest-volume single-line vehicle assembly facilities in the world, with 6 million square feet of space.

Today, it’s home to the world’s best-selling compact car – the Chevy Cruze.

But it’s what’s built outside the gates that brought us to this small-town on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

This: The largest solar for GM in the western hemisphere.

Granger Souder – Managing Executive, Solcient Energy
“We have 8,550 panels here. It covers about 6.5 acres, and it will generate about 2.5 million kilowatt hours a year. It’s the equivalent of taking 360 cars a year off the road, or about 247 households in terms of their electricity use.”

The solar array was under the watchful eye of NECA contractor Dickie Electric and it was installed by IBEW Local 573 craftsmen and women.

Jamie Burdette – General Foreman, IBEW Local 573
“It was a very tight timeline. They talked about his project for three years and trying to get a supplier to do this project, and once they did, it began approximately November 1 and gave us two months. They wanted it completed before the first of the year. So we worked six and seven days a week, out here 10 hours a day, braving the cold. Near-zero temperatures the past month or so.”

Eric Carlson – Vice President, Dickie Electric
“There’s over 8,000 panels here. Those 8,000 panels aren’t laying on the ground. Those 8,000 panels have metal all through them. They’re connected to a steel structure that’s driven down into the ground, so that steel structure, all those components, all those things need to be tied together so that the potential to ground is correct, and we’re making sure that we’re not getting anybody hurt.”

In Ohio, the weather isn’t always the best for solar, but the power of the sun is still as strong here as it is anywhere in America.

Steve Fife – Crew Foreman, IBEW Local 573
“Some of the snow cover does affect it, but as long as the sun’s shining, they’re making power.”

Eric Carlson – Vice President, Dickie Electric
“They’re able to capture even the light that we have in northeastern Ohio, which has a lot of cloudy days, but even the technology, we’re able to generate that energy and we’re able to get that green energy and be able to put it back into a plant like this.”

But that’s not the only green-leaning project here at the plant.
More than 6,500 high-bay lights inside the facility were replaced with these smaller, slimmer and more energy-efficient LEDs.

They’re all connected to a wireless control system that can be dimmed on-demand, saving an estimated 84% on lighting costs.

That too, was installed by this same NECA-IBEW team.

Eric Carlson – Vice President, Dickie Electric
“The NECA-IBEW – we’re able to get the training, we’re able to get quality, trained electricians.”

Jamie Burdette – General Foreman, IBEW Local 573
“All we have to sell is our quality and our craftsmanship. If we can do a good job here, it shows.”

Granger Souder – Managing Executive, Solcient Energy
“The IBEW guys did a phenomenal job. They did everything we asked of them. The Dickie Electric guys did great. They were fantastic to work with – very professional, very skilled, and they helped us deliver on our promise and commitment to General Motors.”

In any business, no matter the size or type, saving money while saving energy just makes sense.

It takes, however, expertise at the hands of those completing the work – namely the NECA-IBEW team. The men and women who have for years been responsible for ensuring that there’s free-flowing power that makes American cars continue to come off the line at GM Lordstown.

That’ll do it for this edition. Thanks for the click. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter for behind the scenes extras and industry information. See you next time.