BMW Manufacturing Company on February 17 announced that it has begun a study into the feasibility of using wind energy on its plant site in Spartanburg, S.C. BMW will partner with Gold Ring Power, LLC to conduct an energy audit to gather data on wind speed and patterns throughout the site. The results of the test will reveal the viability for BMW to add wind to the list of alternative energy resources used to power the facility.
Duncan Seaman, facilities manager for BMW, explains that “globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30 percent annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options.”
To begin this test, two 50-foot towers have been installed on the plant site. Anemometers, similar to measuring devices used by meteorologists, will be attached to each tower to collect data on wind speed and direction. One tower will be located in front of the BMW Zentrum Visitors Center and will be visible from Interstate 85. The towers will stay in place for two weeks and will then be moved to other strategic locations on the plant site to gather additional wind data. After several weeks, the data will be analyzed by Gold Ring Power LLC and provided to BMW for further evaluation.
“Alternative energy projects such as this are essential to the sustainability of this plant. Following the success of the methane gas project, we continue to look for ways to harness the natural resources available to us. BMW is already a global leader in automotive technology and innovation, so projects like these are a natural outgrowth of our commitment to managing alternative energy resources,” said Robert Hitt, manager for corporate communications.
Currently, 63 percent of the BMW plant in Spartanburg is powered through recycled methane gas from the local landfill. This Landfill Gas to Energy Project, launched in 2003, has saved the company more than $1 million per year in energy costs.
Gold Ring Power LLC is a California-based company that specializes in efficiently integrating renewable energy systems into manufacturing facilities and industrial plants.
BMW Manufacturing Company is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany, and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California.