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GM to power Arlington plant with energy from Texas wind farm

General Motors will purchase 50 megawatts of power from a wind farm in Concho County as it aims to be 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
General Motors will purchase 50 megawatts of power from a wind farm in Concho County as it aims to be 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

President-elect Donald Trump may be a climate change skeptic. But that’s not slowing down General Motors in its push for renewable energy.

On Wednesday, the automaker announced its biggest renewables deal to date, buying enough wind power to cover electricity needs at 16 facilities including its Arlington assembly plant and the GM Financial headquarters in downtown Fort Worth.

GM said it will purchase 50 megawatts of power produced at Cactus Flats, a 150-megawatt wind farm being developed by Renewable Energy Systems in Concho County, near San Angelo. When the contract begins in the first half of 2018, 6 percent of GM’s global energy use will be powered by renewable energy, the company said in a statement.

GM’s Arlington plant, which builds its big sport utility vehicles — already 50 percent powered by renewable energy — will then be entirely fueled by green energy.

GM has committed to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2050, as well as develop electric vehicles, to help address climate change. The automaker is part of a coalition of companies called RE100 dedicated to the same goal, including Ikea, Bank of America, Biogen, BMW, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Nike, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

“GM’s commitment to renewable energy is helping transform the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world, and we’re doing it in a way that makes our company and communities stronger,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of Renewable Energy, in a statement. “These renewable energy investments drive down greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on finite resources, and help keep our air and water clean.”

Texas is the largest wind energy producer in the nation, according to the American Wind Energy Association, with more than 10,000 turbines.

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko

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