Geneva, NY – A Geneva company broke ground today on what the company says is the largest on-site, wind energy project by any U.S. manufacturer.
Zotos International Inc., which makes hair-care and personal-styling products, plans to build two 350-foot-tall wind turbines by the end of the year. Total cost: $7 million.
Combined the turbines are expected to generate about 70 percent of the company’s power needs at its 670,000-square-foot plant on Route 14 in the northwest corner of the city, said Anthony Perdigao, vice president of operations at the plant.
The company will donate 5 percent of the power produced by the wind turbines to the city, which Geneva Mayor Stu Einstein said will be used to power his city’s streetlights.
“It’s a very exciting project for the community. I hope to see a lot of other businesses in the community following suit and possibly the city as well. This absolutely won’t be the last project of its kind,’’ said Einstein, one of several hundred people at today’s groundbreaking.
Zotos, which employs about 670 full- and part-time workers, received $2.1 million in federal stimulus money to build the two 1,650-kilowatt wind turbines.
“The grant made (the project) a sure thing,’’ Perdigao said.
The company, which was founded in 1929 as a manufacturer of hair dyes, is owned by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Americas Corp. The wind project is the first of its kind in Ontario County and underscores the company’s attempt to be energy self-sustaining and reflects its commitment to being friendly to the environment, Perdigao said.
“Protecting the environment is very important to us,’’ he said.
The company is studying the possibility of installing solar panels and geothermal wells to make Zotos 100 percent energy self-sufficient by the end of 2011, according to Perdigao. The company expects to see a return on its wind project investment within five years.
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