Work is underway on the largest solar array project in Tennessee.
And it's right here in Chattanooga at the Volkswagen plant.
The German automaker invited us to the installation of the first of more than 33,000 panels this morning.
Workers with Phoenix Solar U-S begin a massive undertaking at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant.
They're installing a 33,600 panel solar park...the largest single solar array in Tennessee.
Jeff Lee, Phoenix Solar US, "We're very proud of that fact and looking forward to building a good quality project for Volkswagen."
Volkswagen tells us the $30 million project will feed power directly into the plant, providing 12.5 % of the energy.
Thilo Brockhaus, VW Manager of Plant Construction, "The solar installation can produce 9.58 megawatts DC, which is 7.6 megawatt AC. That provides you with 13.1 gigawatt hours annual power. You could power 1,200 house holds with that per year."
Lee, "These panels, everything here, is designed for approximately an 80 mile per hour wind load. I've actually seen the panels take a baseball at 40 miles per hour prior to breaking the glass."
The solar park is being built on 65 acres at Enterprise South.
Brockhaus, "The remaining space between the solar array and the factory is reserved for later expansion of the supplier park."
The Solar park also helps to finalize the onsite renewable energy component of Volkswagen's platinum LEED certification
It's all part of the German Auto maker's continued focus on protecting the environment...by making cleaner cars with better gas mileage in greener plants.
The solar park is expected to start producing power late this fall.