GM’s Ohio Plant to Be Powered by Renewables

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Most of Ohio’s wind generation is spread across Paulding and Van Wert counties in the northwestern part of the state.

General Motors recently announced it has signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) contracts with two wind farms in Ohio and Illinois that, once completed, will supply power to its plants in Indiana and Ohio. The Ohio wind farm, Northwest Ohio Wind Project is owned by Starwood Energy Group and sited on 12,750 acres of leased land in Van Wert and Paulding counties.

Starwood Energy acquired the wind farm project from Trishe in 2014 with plans to develop it in two phases. The first 100 megawatt (MW) phase will harness fifty Gamesa G114-2MW turbines and is expected to be completed in 2018. The second 150 MW phase will bring the project’s capacity to 250 MW.

Starwood has PPAs with with Facebook and Target for 200MW and 40MW respectively. GM, which plans to use 100% renewable energy for its global operations by 2050, will buy all 100 MW of the Northwest Ohio Wind Project’s output at a fixed price during the first 12 to 15 years in this latest contract with Starwood.

Currently, the bulk of Ohio’s wind generation capacity comes from 255 wind farm-base turbines in Paulding and Van Wert counties. The 66 MW Hog Creek project owned by EDP Renewables recently began construction further east in Hardin County. Though GM is actually getting its electricity from the grid, it’s PPA is what sustains the wind project. These wind farms actually supply cheap Ohio electricity to Defiance, Lima, Toledo, as well as other town nearby towns.

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