Lighting Upgrade to Save GM Plant $800k Annually

General Motors expects to save more than $800,000 a year on electricity at its Spring Hill Manufacturing complex in Tennessee by upgrading to high-efficiency lighting and wireless controls.

The lighting upgrade project included replacing nearly 4,500 fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent lights made by Light Corporation and installing a wireless control system by Kanepi Innovations. The project is expected to save GM more than 8.5 million kWh of electricity a year, preventing annual carbon emissions equivalent to that of 657,088 gallons of gas.

The wireless control system allows GM to schedule, manage and monitor the use of electrical devices within the facility. The controls are estimated to save 50 percent more energy than the high-efficiency lighting retrofit alone, GM said.

The new lights were installed in the body shop and general assembly buildings, which will be used to produce the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox. The engine plant, which will be used to make the Ecotec 2.5L engine for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, also had its lighting upgraded.

The project is the first phase of a two-phase project expected to help the site save more than $1.3 million a year in electricity costs. The company has said it will complete the second stage in other areas of the Spring Hill complex later this year.

GM is coordinating the dismantling and recycling of the old fixtures, the company said.

The automaker has invested in energy efficiency projects throughout its global operations. It said in July that its Powertrain Engineering Center in Torino, Italy had harvested 300,000 kWh of energy from test benches, equipment that tests measures of a running engine, within a year, and used it to power all of the facility’s computers.

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