The turbines, with blades measuring around 160 feet long, were installed on 260-foot towers. According to Gary Hand, vice president of Honda Transmission, the installation of the turbines means that the plant will be the first major automotive manufacturing facility in the United States to obtain a substantial amount of its electricity directly from wind turbines located on its property. Honda Transmission will also reduce CO2 emissions through the use of this renewable energy source.
Studies commissioned by Honda Transmission indicate that wind-generated power is a cost-effective source of electricity for the plant and that the project will not adversely impact local wildlife or the environment. Based on the turbines' location and actual wind speeds, combined output is estimated at 10,000 MWH per year. "This is just one of many ways that Honda is seeking to reduce our environmental footprint," Hand said, citing the installation of energy-efficient equipment and the incorporation of new technologies across the company's operations.
ConEdison Solutions, one of America's largest energy services companies, will own and operate the two turbines through its subsidiary, RP Wind, LLC. The company is working in collaboration with Juhl Energy of Pipestone, Minn., a leading provider of clean energy solutions, which served as the primary developer of the project. Through agreements with Honda Transmission, ConEdison Solutions will generate electricity for the plant, and will be responsible for an interconnect agreement with the Logan County Electric Cooperative and an additional agreement with Buckeye Power, Inc., an Ohio electric cooperative.