Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc. has announced an agreement with Juhl Wind, Inc. of Pipestone, Minn., 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 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, 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 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.
“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.
Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda is a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, both in its products and its manufacturing operations.
Two Honda automobile plants in Ohio have earned the U.S. 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 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.
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 recently announced plans to begin production of the Accord Hybrid sedan at the Marysville Auto Plant in fall 2013. This will be the third hybrid model built by Honda in America, joining the Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX produced at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana,LLC in Greensburg, Ind.
Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve the fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the just released 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle.
Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 26,000 associates in its U.S. sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $12.5 billion.
Based on its longstanding commitment to “build products close to the customer” Honda operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Seven Honda auto plants in the region, including four in the U.S., have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year. In 2012, 90 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America..
Honda operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America.