Wind farm to energize GM

May 2nd, 2018

By Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

General Motors is one step closer to fulfilling its pledge to generate or source all electricity used by its factories worldwide with renewable energy by 2050.

On Monday, GM officials helped unveil the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, a 100-megawatt wind project being built by Starwood Energy Group in Paulding County.

Clean, renewable energy that is purchased from the wind farm will help offset the power used at GM's Allen County pickup truck assembly plant – and all other GM manufacturing facilities in Indiana and Michigan.

Construction of the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, which will create about 300 jobs, is expected to be complete by the end of September. 

Rob Threlkeld, GM's global manager of renewable energy, described the Defiance County wind farm as “an important step toward achieving (the company's) sustainability commitments.”

“As we realize our vision for a zero emissions future, renewable energy will help us to efficiently build vehicles while providing a greener grid to power them,” he said in a statement.

The Detroit automaker will buy 200 megawatts of wind energy from the Ohio wind farm and a wind farm in Illinois after both farms come online later this year.

That amount will place GM 20 percent of the way toward its goal, officials said.

Alex Daberko, Starwood Energy's managing director, thanked GM and the Paulding community for supporting the project.

Although some critics say wind farms are an eyesore, Paulding County officials celebrated the benefits during a ceremony Monday morning. 

They said the estimated $1 million in additional annual county tax revenue will be used to fund schools, roads and community services.

Paulding County Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein described the new wind farm as “a valuable and welcome asset” to the community.

“We thank Starwood Energy and everyone involved in this project for choosing our community to build the wind farm,” he said in a statement. “The entire county will benefit for years to come.”

According to a recent report by the American Wind Energy Association, more than 2,000 Ohio residents work in the wind industry, double the number from just three years ago.