GM invests $7.5 million and takes an undisclosed stake in Sunlogics

Article by Christian A., on July 28, 2011

GM Ventures, a General Motors unit, takes an undisclosed stake in Sunlogics Inc. as it invests $7.5 million. The solar energy systems manufacturer will use the funds to set up plants in Michigan and Canada.

Doing so will lead to the creation of 310 jobs. In addition, GM Ventures inked commercial deals with Sunlogics to install solar charging stations at Chevrolet dealerships and GM plants.

They also had signed a power purchase deal for the installation of large solar arrays at GM factories and the purchase of the energy generated by the arrays.

In a statement, Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures, said that as global solar energy use is expected to more than double by 2016, the company believes that placing investment in renewable energy is a “smart and strategic business decision."

It also stated that the Chevrolet solar charging canopy project complements its electrification strategy that had begun with the Chevrolet Volt. GM said that along with the Sunlogics deal, it has committed to doubling the usage of solar power use at its plants worldwide to 60 megawatts by the end of 2015. This usage is comparable to powering 10,000 homes each year.

GM has attracted a lot of interest due to its plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt car. GM seeks to achieve what Toyota Motor Corp has earned with its Prius hybrid vehicle.

Previously, Sunlogics and GM had worked together to develop a solar photovoltaic canopy and charging station for Volt dealers. Currently, there are two in place at stores located in Grand Blanc, Mich., and Modesto, Calif.

General Motors revealed that it continues to be steadfast in its plan to double, towards the end of 2015, the company’s solar energy output. When it comes to renewable energy, GM continues to be ahead in the auto industry.

In the U.S. alone, the company has three of what may be the largest automotive facilities running on solar power from the rooftop. Meanwhile the company also has a car assembly facility located in Zaragoza, Spain, which is the largest rooftop solar plant in the world. The company has even started construction of a solar field at its facility in Detroit-Hamtramck facility even as the solar array above its Baltimore Operations plant has been completed.

GM vice president of Energy, Environment & Safety Policy Mike Robinson shared that the company’s facilities contain solar power totaling 30 megawatts. Today, he added, the company intends to increase that to 60 megawatts over the coming years.

This amount can power an estimated 10,000 homes per year, he continued. Utilizing renewable energy is not only good business sense but makes sure that the company’s facilities impact on the environment is lessened, Robinson said further.

Sunlogics PLC is a global solar energy systems provider, vertically integrated, and specializes in the development and the installation of solar projects. Sunlogics has entered into a collaboration with Sunlogics Power Management Fund Inc (SLMU:US), as well as other companies, with the sole objective of owning solar projects that have been developed by Sunlogics PLC, in addition to operating it. Aside from the U.S., the company has projects and operations in other countries like Canada, China, and Europe.

To know more, simply visit www.sunlogics.com. General Motors Ventures LLC is a subsidiary of GM that was made to help the parent company determine and then develop different advanced technologies for use in the automotive industry or transportation sector.

GM Ventures was started after being originally funded with a $100 million initial investment. At present, it is looking into equity investment in various technologies and business models that are related to the auto industry. Additional information can be accessed through www.gmventures.com.

Press Release

GM Ventures Invests in Solar Power Developer Sunlogics

General Motors Ventures LLC announced today an equity investment of $7.5 million in Sunlogics PLC, a vertically integrated global solar energy systems provider specializing in solar project development and installation. The investment will create 310 jobs.

GM also signed commercial agreements with Sunlogics for the installation of solar charging canopies at Chevrolet dealerships and GM facilities, as well as a power purchase agreement to install large-scale solar arrays at GM facilities and purchase the energy they produce.

Sunlogics will use some of the funding to establish its corporate headquarters and open a manufacturing facility in suburban Detroit, and to set up a manufacturing facility in Ontario. The facility in Southeast Michigan will create 200 jobs and the Canadian facility will support 110 jobs.

"Global solar energy use is predicted to more than double by 2016, so we believe that investing in renewable energy is a smart and strategic business decision," said Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures. "And the Chevrolet solar charging canopy project complements our electrification strategy that started with the Chevrolet Volt by helping our cars live up to their fullest green potential."

Sunlogics' management has experience developing and operating solar commercial installations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Sunlogics PLC has a strategic relationship with Sunlogics Power Fund Management Inc. and with other entities to own and operate solar projects developed by Sunlogics PLC.

"The investment in Sunlogics allows GM to strategically partner with a leading solar developer and operator that can help GM drive the use of solar, specifically large-scale solar installations at our facilities," Lauckner said. "Sunlogics was the ideal choice because it is a vertically integrated company that has a global footprint."

Said Michael Matvieshen, CEO Sunlogics: "GM's solar expansion and financial commitment provides a firm foundation for the growth of Sunlogics' business worldwide and will bring more sustainable green energy to GM operations."

"The partnership provides a new level of opportunity to the larger scale industrial solar projects Sunlogics designs, manufactures and constructs," Matvieshen said. "We are looking forward to further assisting our customers in reducing their carbon footprint with sustainable renewable energy."

As part of today's announcement, General Motors committed to double its solar energy output globally by the end of 2015.

"Our GM facilities currently house 30 megawatts of solar power, and we are committing today to double that capacity to 60 megawatts over the next few years, which is equivalent to powering 10,000 homes annually," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Energy, Environment & Safety Policy. "Not only does renewable energy make good business sense, it helps us continue to reduce the impact our facilities have on the environment."

GM is the auto industry's leading user of renewable energy. It has three of the largest automotive rooftop solar power installations in the United States and the world's largest rooftop solar installation at its car assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain. Additionally, GM has started construction on a new solar field at its Detroit-Hamtramck facility and completed construction on a solar array on top of its Baltimore Operations facility.

About General Motors Ventures

General Motors Ventures LLC is a subsidiary designed to help the company identify and develop innovative technologies in the automotive/transportation sector. GM Ventures has been funded with an initial investment of $100 million, and is exploring equity investments in a number of auto-related technologies and business models. More information can be found at www.gmventures.com.

About Sunlogics

Sunlogics PLC is a vertically-integrated global solar energy systems provider specializing in solar project development and installation. Sunlogics has a strategic partnership with Sunlogics Power Management Fund Inc (SLMU:US) and with other entities for the purpose of owning and operating solar projects developed by Sunlogics PLC. The scope of the company's current projects and operations reach to the nations of the world including Canada, United States, Europe and China. More information can be found at www.sunlogics.com.

Topics: gm, investment

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