Friday, January 25, 2013

Honda Transmission contracts with Juhl Wind for two utility-scale wind turbines at Ohio plant; up to 10% of electricity for operations

Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc. announced an agreement with Juhl Wind, Inc. to develop, install, and operate two utility-scale wind turbines (each rated at about 2MW) to generate electricity for the plant's operations.

The plant manufactures automatic transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive systems, including the next-generation Earth Dreams transmission technology. The two wind turbines will supply up to approximately 10% 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.

Once the turbines begin operating later this year, the Honda transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio 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.

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 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 (49 meters) long, will be installed on 260-foot (79 meters) towers on Honda Transmission property, which is suited for a maximum of two wind turbines. Last June, the Washington Township (Logan County, Ohio) Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance to the height limitation for the wind turbines.

Juhl Wind will be 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 the Logan County Electric Cooperative and the power purchase agreement with Buckeye Power, Inc.

Globally, Honda has established voluntary goals to reduce the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing operations by 2020. This includes a 30% 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.

  • Two Honda automobile plants in Ohio have earned the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ENERGY STAR certification for the sixth year, while a Honda auto plant in Indiana earned the designation for the first time in 2012, boosted by energy efficiency gains from the start of a second shift of auto production.

  • Honda leads all automakers with twelve LEED-Certified "Green Buildings" in North America, and 10 of its 14 North American manufacturing facilities are zero-waste to landfill.

  • Honda of America Mfg. auto plants in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio have ongoing initiatives to reduce energy consumption. Major areas include installation of energy-efficient equipment, implementing new technologies in auto-body painting systems and lighting efficiency improvements.


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