General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy project announced

By Chris Hanson | November 21, 2013

General Motors (GM) and Detroit Renewable Energy (DRE) announced a new waste-to-energy project that will generate 58 percent of GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant’s power needs.

The project evolved from a long-standing relationship between GM and DRE subsidiary, Hamtramck Energy Services, explained Steven White, CEO of DRE.

DRE will be processing more than 1 million tons of municipal solid waste into electric power and process steam.  The steam will travel roughly one and a half miles to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and generate 15.8 megawatts of electricity and heat for the facility.

“We have 107 landfill-free faciliites across the globe that recycle or reuse their waste, with some of it turned into energy,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy. “It made sense to explore this option with DRE at Detroit-Hamtramck, given their quality work in helping us manage our energy use at some of our other GM plants.”

GM has aggressively adopted alternative and renewable energy practices worldwide and established a goal of procuring 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, said White. Once completed, the project will represent 12 percent of GM’s global renewable energy goal and enable DRE to further expand its sustainable use of renewable energy in supporting Detroit’s long-term environmental and economic security, he added.

Construction of the new steam line is scheduled to begin later November 2013 and become operational by Spring 2014.