This is also a further indictment of state legislators who mandated that companies get their power from 'green' energy sources. From Crane's Detroit Business May 11, 2011:
A $3 million solar energy installation to help power General Motors Co.'s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant was formally announced Wednesday by GM and DTE Energy Co.
The project is expected to be the largest photovoltaic solar array in Southeast Michigan and generate 516 kilowatts of electricity at the plant, home to the Chevrolet Volt electric car.
The array will be built on six acres on the south side of the plant and is expected to save the plant about $15,000 annually, under a 20-year agreement.
Do the math: $3,000,000 cost divided by $15,000/year savings means it will take 200 years to see a return on the investment (ROI).
Think about it - 200 years ago we were in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, moving from human and animal labor toward machines - primarily the steam engine.
Do we really think the solar array installed at this Volt plant is even going to be around in 200 years?!?
Perhaps only as a museum exhibit....
The solar array for the lights on our new I-280 bridge had a 150-year ROI. In fact, most solar projects take much longer to recoup the investment than even the life of the panels themselves (usually around 20, but maybe 30 years).
Without huge handouts of taxpayer money to install them - or mandates from politicians, no business would willingly choose such a poor investment. The technology may advance to the point where it is viable, but it will never reach that point if unprofitable and illogical 'investments' are promoted or mandated by government.
Just say no to government picking the winners and losers.