April is the Windiest Month
Like many auto companies, Honda is working to reduce its environmental impact. For example, it is working toward achieving a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from its U.S. automobile product lineup by 2020, compared to 2000 levels.
But in addition to making sure that its products are more energy efficient and powered, in some cases, by non-traditional fuels (hydrogen, electricity), Honda is applying that same thinking to its manufacturing operations, like the Honda Transmission Mfg. of America plant in Russells Point, Ohio.
There, it has installed two GE power-producing wind turbines.
This isn’t just a green-washing stunt, whereby it is all about the look and not the result. The company calculated that the two 260-ft tall turbines, with 160-ft blades, would provide approximately 10% of the plant’s energy needs, or some 10,000-megawatt hours (MWH) of electricity annually.
The turbines were installed in January 2014. The company has released information about how well the turbines have done during the first six months of operation, and it turns out that they’ve done better than expected.
Gary Hand, vp of Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, said, “The turbines’ operation has exceeded the projections established during product development.”
The units outperformed expectations for four of the six months. In April, for example, the turbines provided 16.26% of the plant’s energy requirements.
The turbines, incidentally, are owned by ConEdison Solutions, “leading energy services company that provides competitive power supply, renewable energy, sustainability services, and cost-effective energy solutions for commercial, industrial, residential, and government customers.”
Which means that Honda isn’t off the grid. It’s just using less of it.