UPDATED: GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly Plant to use wind energy for most of its electrical power needs

By late this year, General Motors' Fort Wayne Assembly Plant will receive some of its electricity from the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm in Paulding County, Ohio, GM and other officials announced April 30. The wind farm is under construction now. (News-Sentinel.com file photo)

General Motors’ Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, which is one of the automaker’s environmental leaders, will get a lot greener later this year by adding wind energy as the major source of its electrical power.

GM officials joined today with leaders of Starwood Energy Group and state and local officials in Paulding County, Ohio, to announce GM will buy power from the 100-megawatt Northwest Ohio Wind Farm now under construction in Paulding County, east of Fort Wayne.

Power purchased from the wind farm will help offset coal-powered electricity used at GM Indiana and Ohio manufacturing plants, a GM news release said.

GM has pledged to use renewable energy sources to generate electricity or as the source of electrical power for all of its facilities worldwide by the year 2050, the announcement said.

As part of that effort, GM will buy 100 megawatts of wind energy capacity from the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm and 100 megawatts of capacity from a wind farm now under construction in Illinois, Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy, said in reply to an email.

“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,” Threlkeld said in the announcement.

Construction of the Northwest Ohio Wind Farm should be completed by late summer or early fall, the announcement said.

The wind farm will feed its power into an electric grid, which is the same grid feeding the Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, so the plant will receive power generated by the wind farm, plant spokeswoman Stephanie Jentgen said.

In many cases, power generated by a wind or solar farm goes into the electric grid, and businesses or residences using electricity can’t determine the exact source of the power they are using. The electricity generated by the wind or solar farm offsets a portion of the electricity produced by coal-fired power generating plants, meaning the coal plants don’t have to produce as much electricity.

Once the Paulding County and Illinois wind farms are operating, the Fort Wayne Assembly Plant will get 80 percent of its electricity from wind energy, Threlkeld said via email. The remaining 20 percent will come from piping in methane gas from the National Serv-All landfill at Smith and Macbeth roads and burning it to power electrical generators.


To read previous stories about wind farms and wind energy, click here.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)