“The new solar park is an integral part of Volkswagen’s worldwide strategy of generating more and more power within the group from renewable energy sources,” said Wolfram Thomas, the Volkswagen Group Officer for the Environment, Energy, and New Business Areas.
The solar park was designed to provide the Chattanooga plant with 13,100 megawatts of power per year, meeting 12.5 percent of the energy demand when the plant is in production. When not in production, the solar cells meet 100% of the energy needs. Currently, the Chattanooga plant employs more than 3,000 people, and has helped to created jobs for 2,000 more in the area. Volkswagen hopes to raise the total of jobs created to 9,500 in the next few years. The plant is specifically tailored to produce the latest Volkswagen Passat model.
Thanks to their recent environmental initiative, Volkswagen has also received LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Platinum Certification. This makes Volkswagen the first automaker to receive this specific distinction. The solar project also involved the help of two American companies: Silicone Ranch, based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and a California subsidiary of Phoenix Solar AG.
Volkswagen has made a strong effort recently to reduce not only the environmental impact of vehicle production but also to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles. Currently, seven Volkswagen vehicles have EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 40mpg or more. These include the Golf TDI, the Passat TDI, the Jetta Sportwagen TDI, and the Jetta Hybrid.
Drivers interested in learning more about the different fuel efficient options available from Volkswagen are encouraged to contact the sales team (http://www.libertyvw.com/