Renault Samsung to build solar power plant

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 9, 2012 - 20:05
  • Updated : Jul 9, 2012 - 20:05
 Carmaker aims to enhance its eco-friendly leadership in auto industry

Renault Samsung Motors said Monday that it would convert the parking lots and rooftops of its Busan factory into the world’s largest solar power plant to be located within a manufacturing facility by December.

The carmaker said the Busan Shinho Solar Plant will be located on the 300,000 square-meter wasteland within the 500,000 square-meter factory site, with arrays of photovoltaic panels being installed there.

For the solar power project, RSM has established a special purpose company together with Korea East-West Power, a subsidiary to state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. and KC Cottrell, a solar power panel producer.

A budget of 56 billion won ($49.1 million) will be poured into its completion in the coming months.
Renault Samsung Motors CEO Francois Provost (fifth from left) and other participants celebrate the ground-breaking of a solar power plant at the company’s Busan factory on Monday. (RSM)

Currently, a growing number of global companies are outfitting their concrete parking lots or other untapped sites with solar canopies in a bid to generate energy without further damaging the environment.

Amid the growing trend, the new Busan plant with a 20-megawatt capacity will become the world’s largest facility of its kind and the first one being attempted in Korea, RSM officials said.

When the installation of solar panels is completed within the year as scheduled, the officials said that the production could start as early as next January.

The plant will supply 24.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year to the neighboring 7,500 households, which means CO2 emission cuts of 13,000 tons annually, they added.

The company said that the project was also aimed at joining the government’s ongoing efforts to spread alternative energy and expand the effective use of the nation’s limited territory.

“Renault Samsung Motors is leading the environmental vehicle industry. We will continue to carry out more eco-friendly projects on alternative energy,” RSM CEO Francois Provost said during the ground-breaking ceremony held in Busan on Monday.

“We will be a role model of alternative energy development for many local and overseas companies,” he said, stressing that the new project will enhance the company’s environmental leadership.

The Monday event was attended by some 100 participants, including officials from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Busan City Government and other partner firms.

Renault Samsung, a leading manufacturer of all electric vehicles, has recently been stepping up efforts to strengthen its eco-friendly image.

Since January, the company is operating a 1-megawatt solar power plant at its part supply center in Haman, South Gyeongsang Province.

By Lee Ji-yoon (