General Motors has announced that it will add a 1.2MW solar power installation to the roof of its White Marsh transmission assembly plant in Baltimore, Maryland.

The system will be deployed under an agreement with solar energy services provider SunEdison. Under the agreement, SunEdison will finance, install, operate and maintain the system. The system will become fully operational in the third quarter of 2009.

The company said that the system will consist of more than 8,700 solar panels and will sit on approximately 300,000sqft of roof space. The installation will generate about 1.4 million kWh of clean renewable solar energy, which is equivalent to the demand of about 140 to 150 US households with an average annual consumption of 10,000kWh.

Additionally, the installation will enable General Motors (GM) to displace about 20% of the plant’s current power purchased from the local utility with a renewable energy resource, while reducing the plant’s utility bill.

John Buttermore, vice president of global manufacturing at GM Powertrain, said: This project will help GM reduce costs while serving as a clean, renewable energy source. Through innovation and commitment, GM is making a significant, positive impact on the environmental issues facing our world.