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Local GM plant going solar

General Motors broke ground today on an electric motor plant in White Marsh, which the company billed as the first by a major U.S. automaker dedicated to making components for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles. Gov. Martin O'Malley, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other muckety mucks were on hand to laud the Detroit-based comany's commitment to alternative energy. Read our story here.

Meanwhile, GM officials pointed out that their Baltimore operations complex is sporting a new, 1.23-megawatt rooftop solar array that's expected to generate 9 percent of the power the facility needs, saving an estimated $330,000 in energy costs during its lifetime. Constellation Energy installed the solar array, which it will continue to own and maintain under a 20-year power purchase agreement with GM.

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It's the second such alternative energy project for GM - Constellation put a 951-kilowatt system on the car maker's service and parts operation warehouse in Fontana, Calif. Technically an addition to the existing facility making two-mode hybrid and heavy duty transmissions, the electric-motor plant won't be open until 2013.

(Photo courtesy GM)

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