Volkswagen Mexico will purchase wind energy from Mexico Power Group’s La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico to power its manufacturing facilities in the country. It announced the 20-year power purchase agreement last week.
The 130 MW it will buy will power the Puebla plant that manufactures 2,500 vehicles a day and the Silao, Guanajuato engine manufacturing factory. Together, both plants employ 18,000 workers, and Volkswagen will see a savings of nearly $3.5 million in electricity costs each year. The agreement was lauded by local officials since it will boost the local economy and generate jobs.
The La Bufa wind farm will be completed in 2014 at a cost of nearly $350 million. The Mexico Power Group has its corporate headquarters in Baja California, and began developing renewable energy projects 15 years ago. It is a subsidiary of the Cannon Power Group, a wind power company based in San Diego.
In the US, the auto maker relies on solar power. In January, it opened a solar park on 33 acres adjacent to its LEED Platinum manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The 9.5 MW solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. The electricity produced from the solar park is expected to meet 12.5 percent of the energy needs of the manufacturing facility during full production and 100 percent during non-production periods.
In November last year, it recognized the most energy efficient plants worldwide. More than 350 energy experts from among 21 Volkswagen plants attended the car maker’s “Think Blue Factory” annual meeting held in Wolfsburg, Germany. The company honored the best solutions in reduction of energy consumption at Volkswagen production plants.
At the end of 2011, all Volkswagen plants decided to reduce energy and water consumption and CO2 emissions on each vehicle by as much as 25 percent by the year 2018. This program – Think Blue Factory – directs each plant to develop its own plan for achieving these targets.
VW Beetle Image courtesy: Volkswagen