Honda plans to install two wind turbines at its Russells Point plant, allowing the automaker to supply about 10 percent of its own electricity.
The turbines will be hard to miss for people driving through Logan County, with blades that are about 160 feet long and standing on 260-foot towers. The electricity output will be about 10,000 megawatt-hours per year, which is roughly enough to provide for the annual needs of 800 houses.
Today, Honda announced an agreement with Juhl Wind Inc. of Pipestone, Minn., to install and operate the turbines. The company got permission for the project last June from Washington Township officials.
“We appreciate the support we have received from the township and our neighbors that will help Honda reduce (carbon) emissions,” Gary Hand, vice president of Honda Transmission, said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Juhl will pay an estimated $8 million to develop the project and Honda is agreeing to a long-term deal to buy the electricity.
The Russells Point plant, which has about 1,150 employees, makes transmissions for most of Honda’s assembly plants in North America.
Honda would be among the five or so companies in the state to use wind power on this scale, said Bill Spratley, executive director of Green Energy Ohio, a renewable-energy advocacy group.
The site is close to ideal, he said. “They are over there by the windiest part of the state, as you get over near Bellefontaine,” he said.
While Honda is not the first to do such a project in Ohio, it is the first automaker and the first company that has a well-known brand name. Spratley said he hopes Honda’s high profile will help encourage other large companies to follow suit.
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