ATLANTA—Porsche Cars North America Inc. (PCNA) has signed a contract with Cherry Street Energy LLC, the largest non-utility provider of solar energy in Georgia, to build and operate a solar power microgrid at the company’s headquarters and customer experience center here.
Energy from solar panels will provide a significant portion of the facility’s annual electricity needs. It will also mean the all-electric Taycan sports cars that are part of the visitor fleet can be charged from purely renewable power. The Experience Center, one of two in the U.S. and 10 in the world, is a track-based attraction where the public can drive the latest Porsche models with a personal coach.
The solar power project will contribute to PCNA’s sustainability goals as the campus adds major new facilities. The headquarters campus is currently undergoing a $50 million development that includes building a second driver development track for the public, due to be operational in early 2023.
New features of the development also include a Porsche Classic Factory Restoration facility, a parking deck and the already-opened Porsche Service Center South Atlanta. These developments are on 33 acres adjacent to the existing 27-acre headquarters and Porsche Experience Center, which first opened in 2015.
“Powering our North American home and our Taycan fleet through harnessing Georgia sunshine makes perfect sense, and is a great demonstration of our commitment to sustainability,” says Kjell Gruner, president and CEO of PCNA.
Cherry Street Energy estimates the array of solar panels on the headquarters campus will generate 2,050 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually—enough to power 191 average homes for a year. Compared to using fossil fuel sources, this renewable electricity represents an estimated CO₂ reduction of 3.2 million pounds per year, equivalent to avoiding 3.6 million miles of driving by an average passenger vehicle.Installation of the solar microgrid will start in September and is expected to be completed in 2023. Panels will be mounted on new and existing buildings, the roofs of staging areas by the two tracks where customers start their drives, and on a new 950-foot covered walkway from the parking garage to the headquarters building. Cherry Street Energy will own, operate and maintain the microgrid, selling the power to PCNA.