213,000 square meters, 40,000 PV modules, 11.5 million KWh/yearHyundai has announced that it will build what will be South-Korea's largest solar rooftop solar installation on its Asan factory, near the West coast of the country. This isn't small potatoes. We're talking about 40,000 solar photovoltaic modules, 213,000 square meters (2,292,712 square feet, or 68% of the total roof area), a peak capacity of 10 megawatts, and an estimated yearly production of 11.5 million kWh, enough to power 3,200 households.
The Asan plant manufactures the Sonata Hybrid, as well as Sonata and Grandeur (Azera in some markets).
To produce the same amount of electricity – 11.5 million KWh - a thermoelectric power plant releases 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide, emission that can be prevented by the use of the photovoltaic power plant. The reduction of 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to the effect of planting 1.12 million pine trees on the environment. (source)
While I wish Hyundai would invest more into electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, this is a very good move. We have so many rooftops - residential and industrial - that are baking in the sun all day long, and with the falling cost of solar (see graph below or follow the link), we should definitely use them to produce clean electricity.