Bridgestone Americas completed its first ground solar array, providing power directly to its manufacturing process. The new solar array is located at the company’s Passenger/Light Truck Tire Plant in Graniteville, S.C. The new installation includes approximately 8 acres of solar panels that generate 2 MW of energy while reducing 1,400 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the annual electricity use of over 200 homes.
“At Bridgestone, sustainability is core to our business and integrated into every level of our operation. Our global sustainability framework includes important goals in reducing CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030, as we strive toward our long-term environmental target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” said Paolo Ferrari, president & CEO, Bridgestone Americas, and executive vice president and executive officer, Bridgestone Corporation.
Recently, the plant partnered with Clemson University, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to utilize its solar array as a pilot for the development of a sustainable ground covering utilizing native South Carolina plants to encourage native, low-maintenance biodiverse vegetation in and around solar arrays in the state. Consistent with Bridgestone’s commitment to protect the environment, the Aiken County Passenger Tire Plant sends zero operations waste to the landfill.
“Renewable energy has many benefits for the environment and Bridgestone, most notably the reduction in CO2 emissions and reduced energy costs,” said Jim DeMouy, vice president, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability, Bridgestone Americas. “Bridgestone is grateful for the support of state and local leaders and community partners who worked with us to make this solar array a reality.”
The Aiken County Passenger Tire Plant was LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is a Certified Habitat by the National Wildlife Habitat Council. In addition, Bridgestone offers a variety of programs through its onsite learning center in Aiken County where it provides free community outreach and training as part of Bridgestone Environmental Education Program which has received state and national recognition. The Aiken County Passenger Tire Plant has been honored by gaining membership to the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program in July 2018 which required an extensive evaluation of the many deliberate efforts by the plant to promote environmental protection.
— Solar Builder magazine