Onsite Wind Power Cranks 3.3 MW For NY Company

Zotos, a haircare manufacturer, claims to have created the largest onsite wind project of any U.S. manufacturer.

The company said the wind farm located at its plant in Geneva, NY., had helped it reach its goal of finding 100 percent of its electrical needs from renewables.

Zotos wind power

image via Zotos

Zotos’ wind project has received the endorsement of the pro-wind lobby group the American Wind Energy Association, who said it was the largest wind project of any manufacturer in the U.S. It is also the largest private industrial wind plan in the New York State region. The project was funded in part by the 2009 federal stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project comprises two 1,650-kilowatt (kW) wind turbines (yielding a total capacity of 3.3 megawatts), which provide power to the 670,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, which employs 760 staff.

The company, which makes haircare and styling aid products and is owned by global cosmetics giant Shiseido, said the onsite wind turbines were a first in the beauty industry.

“After years of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to sustainability, we have finally achieved a key milestone toward our vision of sustainable beauty,” Anthony Perdigao, the vice president and chief sustainability officer at Zotos said in a statement. “This is a historic moment for Zotos, our parent company, and our community. If we can do it, so can others.”

Zotos is one of number of U.S manufacturers who have begun installing on-site clean energy systems to help meet their power needs. One of the most high profile to date is Walmart, which has pledged to get all its power from renewables (though it has yet to set a date for when this will happen). Right now the retail giant has 180 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, including 100 solar power installations. According to Walmart, the company’s long-term goals include reducing its greenhouse gases at its facilities around the world by 20 percent by the end of this year.

Even so, onsite renewable energy supplied just 4 percent of Walmart’s power in 2010, and the company has a long way to go before reaching its 100 percent goal.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.