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US Auto Factory Chooses Wind Energy for On-site Power Generation

ConEdison Solutions, the energy services unit of Consolidated Edison Inc., is providing electricity from two wind turbines to a Honda Motor Co. factory in Ohio, reducing the site’s demand from local power companies.

The 1.6-megawatt General Electric Co. turbines went into operation today at the Russells Point, Ohio, auto factory, according to a statement. ConEdison Solutions owns and operates them and Honda is buying the electricity under a long-term contract.

The plant is the first major automotive factory in the U.S. to get a “substantial” amount of its energyfrom on-site wind turbines, according to the statement. A growing number of industrial and commercial customers are using electricity generated locally and buying less from utilities.

The turbines are installed “behind the meter, so all the power goes directly to the facility,” Jorge Lopez, chief executive officer of ConEdison Solutions, said in an interview. “We’ve seen a resurgence in distributed generation.” Distributed-generation systems, including rooftop solar panels and industrial fuel cells, are installed on-site and provide power directly to users.

Honda estimates the turbines will supply about 10 percent of the factory’s power and will help the company reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions. Excess electricity from the turbines will be provided to the auto plant’s neighbors.

The turbines were developed by Pipestone, Minnesota-based Juhl Energy Inc.

Consolidated Edison rose 0.3 percent to $53.58 at the close in New York.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

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