Local Bridgestone plant’s solar array to support tire production
GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – Aiken County is the site of Bridgestone’s first ground solar array to power the manufacturing process.
The new array is at the company’s Aiken County passenger/light truck tire plant in Graniteville.
It includes about 8 acres of solar panels that generate 2 megawatts of energy while reducing 1,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to the annual electricity use of more than 200 homes.
The local plant also sends zero operations waste to the landfill.
“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,” said Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas.
He called the solar array “another positive step in Bridgestone’s journey to contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society for all.”
Jim DeMouy, vice president for environment, health, safety and sustainability for Bridgestone Americas cited reduced carbon dioxide emissions and lower energy costs among the benefits.
The Graniteville plant was LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is a certified habitat by the National Wildlife Habitat Council.
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 plant was honored by gaining membership to the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program in July 2018.
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 developing a sustainable ground covering with native plants. It’s meant to encourage native, low-maintenance biodiverse vegetation around solar arrays.
Bridgestone has operated the Graniteville plant since 1998. The company also has a plant in Trenton, where it makes large and ultra-large off-road radial tires.