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Alternative Energy Article Features Renier Wind Project

Alternative energy projects are popping up along the central Ohio landscape.

When it comes to renewable or "green" energy, the landscape has changed markedly in recent years - literally, in the case of this wind turbine, erected at Byers Mazda Subaru in northwest Columbus along Interstate 270. Credit a combination of government support, improved (and less expensive) technologies, heightened environmental awareness and a sense of alternative power's job-creation potential.

An onsite power plant might not seem like a sensible fit for an automotive business. But George Byers Kauffman, vice president of Byers Auto Group, says the company came to embrace renewable power while renovating Byers Toyota in Delaware.

Byers was working with Renier Construction on the showroom overhaul and hired Renier to install wind turbines at the Delaware and Columbus dealerships. The Byers Mazda Subaru turbine is the first commercial windmill in Columbus.

"Quite honestly, early on we looked at 'Does solar make more sense than wind?'" says Mike MacKay, project executive for Renier. "The big thing with car dealerships is they use all of their property for parking, and solar arrays tend to take up square footage."

Renier handled the entire project from site analysis to erecting the turbines. In all, it was a two-year process to hammer out the details, says MacKay.

The turbine at Byers Mazda Subaru stands 150 feet tall, including a 69-foot-diameter rotor. It operates at wind speeds as low as 7 mph and is expected to produce 150,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) of power annually. That's enough to meet 10 percent to 15 percent of the location's electricity demands, Kauffman says. The 80-foot turbine in Delaware operates at wind speeds of 5 mph or greater and is expected to produce 25,000 kwh per year. 

Alternative Energy Article Features Renier Wind Project

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