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Autoliv holds groundbreaking ceremony for Ogden solar installation

By Ryan Aston - | May 31, 2024
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A groundbreaking ceremony for a solar farm installation at Autoliv's Ogden AOA facility was held Friday, May 31, 2024.
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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for a solar farm installation at Autoliv's Ogden AOA facility Friday, May 31, 2024.

OGDEN — One of the largest companies operating in Utah and a worldwide leader among automotive safety suppliers is taking steps toward making its Beehive State operations more sustainable.

Autoliv held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a new solar farm installation near its Ogden AOA (assembly) facility located at 1000 W. 3300 South. According to David Schlitter, who handled public relations for the event, the 4.277-megawatt facility will prevent the release of 263,825,412 pounds of carbon dioxide that otherwise would have been released to power the plant.

Speakers at the groundbreaking included AOA Plant Manager Darin Julander, Jeff Richards of Solar Farmers Devco, Autoliv Americas President Kevin Fox and Gov. Spencer Cox.

Julander noted that the AOA facility produces roughly 800,000 airbag modules every week; he said that equates to nearly 40 million opportunities for Autoliv’s products to save lives. He added that the solar farm would account for 46% of the plant’s power usage, eventually growing to 100%.

During his remarks, Fox reiterated Autoliv’s mandate to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030, as well as net-zero emissions across its supply chain by 2040. Company literature states that Autoliv became the first automotive safety supplier to make such a commitment in 2021.

“Those ambitious goals are really, for us, a continuation and a reflection and an expansion of our vision of saving more lives,” Fox said. “We recognize that the environment and the focus on sustainability is really the most important thing for Autoliv.”

The Ogden AOA solar farm is the second of four confirmed solar installations at company facilities around Utah. Phase 1 construction at Autoliv’s Tremonton facility has been completed. Additional solar farms will be located at facilities in Promontory and Brigham City.

Cox expressed excitement about his participation in the groundbreaking, recalling that he had done work with Autoliv during the fledgling days of his legal career in Salt Lake City. He also praised the company for taking steps to make its operations more sustainable without having been compelled to do so by the state government.

“You came forward and said, ‘We want this state to be a better place, and so we’re going to do our part.’ That’s the first thing,” Cox said. “The second thing is the innovation that’s happening here, the science behind what you’re doing. You’re literally harnessing the power of the sun to make bags of gas that save people’s lives. That’s mind boggling to me.”

Cox praised the collaborative nature of the project and Autoliv’s willingness to do “the right thing” in spite of significant upfront costs.

The solar farm is being developed by Solar Farmers Devco and Castle Gate Engineering, which also worked on the Tremonton installation. Castle Gate Accounting Manager Renee Swinburne told the Standard-Examiner that construction on the AOA solar farm would begin in mid-June with an expected completion date in September.

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