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BMW goes solar at Spartanburg's Zentrum Museum

BMW's Zentrum Museum in Spartanburg, SC is getting solar panels that will supply all needed power for the 24,000 sq. ft. facility and even provide totally emission free EV charging stations.
Posted: February 2, 2012 - 1:59PM
Author: Don Bain

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This comes in addition to the landfill methane that has been supplying 50 percent of the power required at the Spartanburg Plant where BMW models are produced, with 90 percent of the plant’s production exported to other countries.

The facility has been collecting methane from the nearby former dump since 2003. A sizeable investment of $12 million was made during 2009 to improve the overall efficiency of the landfill gas collection system.

The company computes they have thus saved 92,000 tons per year in CO2 emissions, with the added benefit of saving $5 million annually in energy costs.

“Adding a new, alternative energy platform to our energy portfolio is another step in our commitment to sustainable methods of generating power at our factory,” said Duncan Seaman, Department Manager, Market Operations USA & Canada. “It is the perfect complement to our existing landfill gas-to-energy and hydrogen fuel cell program and offsets the fossil fuel requirements otherwise needed to run our facility.”

Four hundred solar modules, with a combined output of 240 watts of energy, power the Zentrum Museum, and the EV charging stations. The panels, installed working with Southern Energy Management, were placed in front of the Zentrum Museum alongside Interstate 85 at a cost of only $500,000. SunStore Solar provided additional consultation to BMW on the project.

BWM recently added a hydrogen storage and distribution center at their 11 Megawatt Energy Center at the Spartanburg campus to facilitate an on-site fueling station for their hydrogen-fuel cell material handling fleet inside the 1.2 million sq. ft. plant where the BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is fabricated.

BMW continues to contribute to the Greening of South Carolina as the sun now provides more power to them.

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