GM Invests $11 Million Creating New Power Source at Local Plant

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 6:15 PM EDT

ROANOKE, Ind. (21Alive) - General Motors is pouring $11 million into its Fort Wayne Assembly Plant.

Wednesday the automaker announced the facility will soon have its own mini power plant to feed energy to 40 percent of the plants operations.

This will save GM $5 million a year, and company officials claim it's a move toward bettering the environment.

"As a company we're lowering our carbon footprint," said Amanda Kurzman, Sustainability Initiatives Team, General Motors.

Since 2002 the Fort Wayne plant has been using landfill gas to create steam for its boilers. For that project, a pipeline was built to deliver the gas from the landfill that's about nine miles away.

Now, a new building is being constructed to house several generators that will turn the landfill gas into energy the plant can use. The landfill gas is essentially a waste product that the GM plant will be making use of.

"To use it in a combustion engine to generate electricity, there's not that flaring aspect of that landfill gas over at the landfill," said David Shenefield, Fort Wayne Assembly's Site Utilities Manager.

State Senator Dennis Kruse says this isn't just saving money, and helping the environment. He says it's also preparing for the future.

"We may not be able to build more power plants to produce the electricity needed in the next 15-20 years. So we have to do other things to rely on our sources of electricity," said State Senator Dennis Kruse, (R) District 14.

General Motors is also implementing this at its Lake Orion Assembly Plant in metro Detroit, Michigan.

The Fort Wayne plant is expected to have this landfill gas project up and running by May 2014.




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