23 January 2013

Volkswagen inaugurates its largest solar facility in Chattanooga, USA

- Eco-friendly power for Passat production in Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee/USA – 23 January 2013 - Today, Volkswagen 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. 

Volkswagen has invested about $1 billion in the Chattanooga facility, creating more than 5000 jobs in the region to date. 

Source: Volkswagen