Does BigWind actually reduce Honda’s energy consumption? NOPE

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In Union County, Honda speaks out about its two wind turbines – which are owned by an LLC that does not appear related to Honda.  According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.  “The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”  This statement is also interesting from the perspective of Ohio’s energy efficiency mandates.  Is Honda saying that not taking steps to meet efficiency requirements, they are in compliance with the law by using on-site wind??????…Another interesting note is that BOTH turbines had SIGNIFICANT repairs, in the past couple of years, including replacing bearings. Blades and nacelles were removed to accomplish this, no easy task. As for today? In all of this NW Ohio wind, 1 was intentionally turned off.  Was today simply another day of ‘routine service’? Hmmmm……

At the beginning of 2014, Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America (HTM) welcomed a pair of wind turbines at its Russells Point, Ohio, facility. Fast-forward five years, and the machines are generating more than 10% of the electric needs of the plant…

According to David Schmitt, HTM’s lead engineer for the project, the manufacturer’s reason for installing on-site wind stemmed from a broader emissions-reduction initiative Honda rolled out globally in 2012, which included a goal to “explore renewable energy options at Honda manufacturing facilities,” he tells North American Windpower.

“The main driver was a 2020 Honda Motor target to reduce our factory CO2 emissions by 10 percent,” Schmitt explains. “Since we were not in a position to cut our energy consumption by 10 percent, our only choice was to change where our energy was produced.”…

Owned and operated by a ConEdison Solutions subsidiary, RP Wind LLC, the project comprises two GE 1.7 MW turbines, which, importantly, are sited in favorable wind conditions, according to Schmitt, who points out that the location is “near the point of the highest elevation in the state of Ohio.”

With blades 160 feet long and towers 260 feet high, the GE machines generated approximately 8,300 MWh of electricity during HTM’s last fiscal year, translating to nearly 11% of the electric needs of the plant, which makes Honda transmissions, gears and four-wheel-drive components….

Moreover, the project is benefiting the local electric cooperative’s grid, says Schmitt, who explains the turbines are “boosting local power production, especially in times of increased demand.”

In the past five years, HTM has discovered no “unforeseen outages or malfunctions,” notes Eric Mauk, Honda North America’s corporate communications specialist, adding that the only downtime has been due to “routine service.”...



Honda article

(Another) school wind turbine BROKEN in Ohio

This is beginning to feel like ‘Deja Vu’.  BigWind is notorious for maintenance issues (just ask Van Wert residents who live near the turbine graveyard), but they are often kept quiet from the public.  Some BigWind sites are even known for repairing at night, so the public is not aware! At schools, however, this can be no secret, because taxpayers eagerly hope that BigWind will save the district lots of $….this rarely happens, but breakdowns are commonplace.  Even Honda had to replace a new turbine (less than 4 years old!)  Are our legislators paying attention to this reality????? Nope, so make sure you are and you are willing to tell them!…..

Ontario Local Schools board of education will enter into mediation with Rock Road Wind to resolve a dispute over the company’s wind turbine at Stingel Elementary.

“It’s been broken for nearly a year, and we want to get it resolved that that thing gets fixed,” board of education president Sam VanCura said. “According to the contract, it’s not our liability to fix it.”…

The turbine has sat idle since November 2016, when its transformer stopped working.

In April, the school board refused to approve a contract amendment proposed by Rock Road Wind under which the energy company would agree to replace the faulty transformer and the district would agree to keep buying power from Rock Road Wind for six more years after the current contract expires.

At the time, school district officials argued the energy company defaulted on the contract and demanded the company uphold the current contract by fixing the turbine without the assurance of a contract extension.

The turbine still has not been fixed, prompting the district to move forward with plans to remedy the situation…

Source: Ontario schools to enter mediation over turbine issue

$6.9M for 2 turbines that ‘might’ save energy….Hmmmm

I don’t know about you, but if I were an investor or purchaser of products from Valfilm, in Findlay, Ohio, I might question the longevity of their company after this investment. 2 turbines = $6.9MILLION and the potential for energy cost savings? What is most unfortunate, is that Valfilm is unaware of the realities that we share here, on a regular basis.  Additionally, the Ball/Whirlpool turbines are still new, but as they near 12 years, the O & M costs will outweigh their useful life.  This is the reality that we may or may not read about someday in a paper.  Honda was a perfect example of this reality and their turbines croaked long before the 12 year mark…..

A Findlay wind energy company will build two wind turbines, totaling $6.9 million, to help power Valfilm’s headquarters on Findlay’s north end….

The 405-foot tall wind turbines will be built by One Energy, which built the five wind turbines of the same height serving Whirlpool Corp. and Ball Metal. Construction of the Valfilm wind turbines will start this fall on 35 acres east of the plant…
By early 2018, the two 1.5 megawatt wind turbines will supply over 75 percent of Valfilm’s power needs. The other 25 percent will continue to come from American Electric Power.
Valfilm will buy the wind turbines’ output at a fixed electrical rate over the next 20 years, said Steve Shiparski, Valfilm’s Findlay plant manager.
He was cautiously optimistic that Valfilm would save energy costs in the arrangement…

Source: The Courier » Valfilm plans wind turbines

Is Honda selling us a (BigWind) lie?

We have received reports that, yesterday, when a power outage affecting 7000+ Logan County residents occurred and caused the cancellation of Indian Lake Schools, the Honda Transmission turbines located in close proximity to Indian Lake High School, were not moving. So did the HTM turbines supply HTM with up to 14% of its power yesterday? Well….they were not moving when the power was out. A source claims they normally slowly turn from electricity off the grid….Remember, friends, wind turbines USE energy. How much do the Honda turbines use? We will never know, but this does make us wonder if Honda PAYS for the electricity to keep them moving….

Find out how Honda is using solar power and renewable energy throughout the company in support of energy diversification.

Source: Renewable Energy, Solar Power & More | Honda

BigWind at Honda ‘Spins’ the ‘truth’ more than their ‘blades’

Read the comments, in italics far below, from Ohio’s Superman, Tom Stacy…

Just six months after the landmark installation of two power-producing wind turbines at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc., the turbines are producing more renewable, low emissions electrical power than was anticipated when the towers went into operation in January.

The wind turbines have exceeded the projected power output figures by 6.3 percent, and have contributed toward reducing the CO2 emissions of power production, helping Honda HMC reach its voluntary goals to reduce the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing operations by 2020. This includes a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from Honda products, and significant CO2 reductions from the companys plants and other operations, compared with year 2000 levels.

The two turbines, standing 260 feet tall with 160-foot blades, were initially projected to produce upwards of 10,000 megawatt hours MWH of electricity per year, accounting for approximately 10 percent of the plants annual power needs. The turbines have outperformed company projections in four of the six months since operation began. At their highest output, the turbines provided 16.26 percent of the plants power requirements for the month of April….

via Wind Turbines Outperforming Expectations at Honda Transmission Plant – Yahoo Finance.

“In the press release (and “article”, also printed in the Bellefontain Examiner), please note that comparing January through June wind energy production figures to annual average wind energy production is not valid.  For instance, in a graph of the wind output by month for PJM (our grid region) over the past 4 years, the data show that annual wind output in PJM is historically 11% less than January through June output counted twiceThat fact alone suggests a spin in the press release that goes beyond misleading.  At worst, the authors of the press release really achieved free advertising courtesy of the Examiner – disguised as a credible news story.

 Also it is not clear if the claimed (but not clarified and not substantiated) 6% improvement means 36% vs. 30% (6% of theoretical maximum) or 31.8% vs. 30% capacity factor (an increase of 6% over the expected 30% capacity factor).  Unless Honda or Juhl decides to share the data (which I doubt), your readers will just have to take a wild guess.  It sure would be nice if the public could be confident in the statistics regurgitated by newspapers – which would be easier if articles listed a specific author!

Furthermore, this year has been a windier and colder than average year in Ohio, as reported by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  Both wind speed and temperature factors influence wind energy production. Windier wind is obviously more powerful.  But please also consider that colder air is denser, meaning more accumulated force on blades at any given wind speed over time.  I do not know the coefficient of thermal expansion for air at atmospheric pressures so cannot currently estimate the effect of colder years on wind output.  Perhaps a mechanical engineer or physicist could assist with that by calculating and sharing the increase in potential energy in wind per degree Fahrenheit drop in air temperature.

In addition, wind machines commonly perform best in their first year or two of operation because the blade surfaces are still relatively smooth, and the gear teeth and clearances and bearings in the gear box and supporting the main shaft are in new(er) condition.  As the machines age, performance  drops due to increased friction due to increased wear – which snowballs.  Incidentally, from a theoretical point of view, the decrease in conversion to electricity is proportional to the increase in frictional heat energy plus the increase in sound radiation energy.

Finally the press release celebrates irrelevant and highly biased statistics meant to sprinkle kudos on wind energy. Such assertions actually cast doubt on the data for anyone awake enough to read carefully.  For instance the source claims: “At their highest output, the turbines provided 16.26 percent of the plant’s power requirements for the month of April.” 

 But conflating a peak output value with average monthly demand level is scientifically invalid in numerous science disciplines. It only works in the field of “marketing.”  Secondly, if the peak output were 16 % of the plant’s monthly demand and the range of output was from 0% to 100% of nameplate capacity (likely for two adjacent wind turbines), and assuming the plant runs three shifts with fairly flat electricity use, then at a 30% capacity factor the devices should produce only 4.8% of the plant’s needs (30% x 16%).  And in addition to quoting figures about wind’s peak output, why isn’t the wind energy machines’ minimum output just as relevant?  We know that minimum is less than 0% of the plant’s monthly energy because most afternoons this summer the turbines were standing perfectly still, yet consuming energy from the grid to run controls, yaw and pitch motors, etc.

None of the press release’s facts indicate the machines are performing better than advertised, nor that wind as a fuel is more controllable or useful than it has ever been. On the contrary – the highest wind production months are weighted to January through June by 11%, so 6% above expectation report might really translate to under performance by 5% OR MORE.  Also, hotter years have higher peak and average electricity demand while wind energy’s contribution is lower. Paul Joskow among others has conducted studies on the inverse relationship between wind speeds and electricity demand and the economic impact that should result from that negative correlation.

Maybe next time the Examiner should refer wind industry PR folks to your ad department.  The paper could benefit, and the developers can sure afford it, thanks to the taxpayer support they receive.  Sounds like a “win-win.”

The article and press release don’t pass my rudimentary physics or statistics sniff tests. Maybe next time Civitas and whoever else received the press release Please attempt to continue to be informed, fair and balanced in the reporting of wind energy.  “


Ohio Legislator follows the $ and calls out Honda for bullying competition

Senator Seitz

Whether or not you approve of Senator Seitz’ politics, you must give him credit for the unabashed COURAGE he displays when he is passionate about something. He is a bulldog in a fight!

The day after the Senate’s momentous vote to freeze the renewable mandate, the political machinations are gearing up.   Democratic candidate for Governor, Ed Fitzgerald issued a statement saying he would make renewable energy the central issue of his campaign.   Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder issued a statement saying he would seek to pass the mandate freeze before summer recess.  The Governor issued a joint statement with Senate President Faber saying that renewable energy would remain important and the standards would not be repealed but merely fixed.   In the meantime, the Chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee where the bill will be heard starting next week was not re-elected.    Chaos!

 The Columbus Dispatch continued its lopsided coverage and attacked Senator Seitz for criticizing Honda during the deliberations for the bill.  Honda was a strong opponent of the freeze and Senator Seitz pointed out that Honda is not subject to the mandates because they are served by the rural electric system.  Further, Honda uses taxpayer subsidy.  Both of these things put Honda at a competitive advantage over other automobile manufacturers.  Winners and losers.  Even Honda wants to preserve an unfair system.  Tom Stacy comments on today’s Dispatch article are printed below.  They are excellent and point out that by keeping the MW size of their project below the threshold of regulation by the OPSB, Honda was able to site the project in a way that may be dangerous to the community….

In debate that stretched into early yesterday, Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, called out Honda for its opposition to Senate Bill 310, a two-year freeze on annual increases in state standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Honda buys most of their electric from a rural electric cooperative,” he said during a lively floor speech. “Guess what? Rural electric cooperatives are not subject to the mandates. So they get to buy their electric without having to pay for the mandates. And by keeping the mandates, they are able to disadvantage their competitors, GM, Ford and Chrysler, who buy from investor-owned utilities that are subject to the mandates.

“Follow the money,” he concluded….

Comments following article:

While East Liberty is indeed on the border of Logan County Rural Electric and DP&L territory, the longest standing and main Honda Campus in Marysville (where the Accord is built) is served by Union County Rural Electric Cooperative.

The energy-intensive Honda Transmission facility at Russells Point, OH is situated in Logan County Rural Electric Cooperative’s territory. Even though that facility isn’t subject to the mandate, Honda partnered with a wind developer and built the two longest-bladed wind turbines in the state on its Transmission plant campus.

The project nameplate capacity conveniently falls just below the threshold above which the PUCO’s Ohio Power Siting Board would have had jurisdiction over its placement. Delivery and construction were RUSHED late last year in order to beat the expiration of the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind which expired at the end of last year – another tax break for them that the rest of us pay for.

OPSB would have never allowed those 420 ft. tall machines with their 160 ft long blades to be constructed within 200 ft. of a public road and within 300 ft. of a non-participating property the way the local township trustees and zoning board did through a zoning variance. But what could the local zoning folks say to the employer of far more people than live in its township when they wanted to go against turbine manufacturer and state minimum guidelines for safety? Not much.

While only MOST of Honda’s facilities are served by cooperatives, Dan, Honda also BENEFITS from the mandates by adding these enormous wind conversion machines on a poorly selected site. People living and boating on Indian Lake now must gaze at these monstrosities from everywhere on the lake, while 176 of them are proposed for Logan and Hardin Counties just east of the lake by Everpower renewables – an aggressive UK owned investment house interested in greening their portfolio far more than the environment.

As for Honda, even their corporate public image statement shows they are more interested in a green image than green results. Before they pulled the trigger on the project company executives asked to meet with me to find out what kind of public opposition might arise. I told them I hoped the public would object to the fact that Honda had chosen a very expensive means of reducing their carbon footprint and at taxpayer and lakefront property owners’ expense. The community did not rise to object to Honda so I didn’t either, even though I live at the opposite end of the same county.

I am really growing weary of the Dispatch continually slanting their news on this topic to criticize the brave legislators who are looking out for Ohio ratepayer and job holders’ best interests. There is really good news here for Ohio’s future and I’d like to see the Dispatch recognize that in some of their articles rather than distracting the public off topic by highlighting trivial matters such as how much of Honda’s electricity is subject to mandates.

2014-05-09 07:28:14.0


via Legislator takes swipe at Honda in green-energy debate | The Columbus Dispatch.

‘Other side’ of the Ohio wind turbine survey

Does anyone really believe this is an accurate depiction of the supposed view of (almost 500 ft) turbines that will be placed near Indian Lake? The Honda turbine is highly visible, but these are mere specks! Everpower, which has been given permission by the OPSB, to build an industrial wind site in Logan and Hardin counties, Ohio, touted the results of a residential survey favoring their development. After closer inspection, we observe some important information about their survey results:

1. 30.3% of respondents still did not know about this project! 

2. At the conclusion of the survey, “All of the messages tested worked well, especially the messages about the company fixing roads, that avian studies have been conducted, the project will generate substantial tax revenue, and that the company will invest $450 million in the project.”  Without much explanation, you can see that the ‘survey’ was just another way to promote a positive image/message about the project. Some might call this tactic ‘dirty propaganda’.

3. Of the 77,000 residents in the combined counties (remember only results from 304 in the study, though), approximately 39-40% was from Hardin county and 60-61% was from Logan county. No offense to Logan county, but why was the majority of the survey conducted in the county with the LEAST amount of turbines—-which also happens to be the county that must approve the PILOT? Please share this ‘other side of the story’ with any friends who have not been educated. Remember, one can design a survey to produce any results desired……

…According to the survey conducted by the Canal Winchester-based SBR Strategy Group Inc., of the 304 people who responded, 54 percent supported wind development while 17 percent opposed it and 29 percent said they did not have enough information to form a reasonable opinion.

The survey provided does not specify many details of the group’s demographics or how it was selected, but does note that 69 percent of the individuals participating have lived in the area for more than 20 years and 29 percent have lived in the area 20 years or less. Full results of the survey are available here….

via Wind developers address issues as local residents ask for new hearing.