Honda Transmission Manufacturing (pictured) has announced an agreement with Juhl Wind, Inc. of Pipestone, Minnesota, to develop, install, and operate two utility scale wind turbines to generate electricity for the plant’s operations.
Once the turbines begin operating later this year, the plant in Russells Point 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, while also reducing CO2 emissions from 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. The two wind turbines will supply approximately 10 percent of the plant’s electricity. Based on their location and actual wind speeds, combined output from the two wind turbines is estimated at 10,000-megawatt hours (MWH) per year.
The decision to go forward with the project followed a thorough evaluation of renewable energy sources for the plant, which Honda announced in February 2012. The turbines, with blades approximately 160 feet long, will be installed on 260-foot towers on Honda Transmission property, which is suited for a maximum of two wind turbines. Last June, the Washington Township Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance to the height limitation for the wind turbines.
“We appreciate the support we have received from the township and our neighbors that will help Honda reduce CO2 emissions,” said Gary Hand, vice president of Honda Transmission. “This is just one of many ways that Honda is seeking to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Juhl Wind will be the primary developer of the project and own the two turbines. Through agreements with Honda Transmission, Juhl will generate electricity for the plant, and be responsible for the interconnect agreement with Logan County Electric Cooperative and the power purchase agreement with Buckeye Power, Inc.
“We are honored to work with Honda to provide wind energy at their Russells Point facility,” said Corey Juhl, vice president of project development for Juhl Wind. “By installing these two wind turbines next to their manufacturing facility, Honda is making tangible and immediate progress towards reducing CO2 emissions.”
Globally, Honda has established voluntary goals to reduce the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing operations by 2020. This includes a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from Honda products, and significant CO2 reductions from the company’s plants and other operations, compared with year 2000 levels.
To achieve these new environmental targets, Honda is accelerating its efforts to advance the environmental performance of its products, and its operations throughout North America. The wind turbine project is among a number of other initiatives at Honda plants to reduce energy use and waste from manufacturing operations.