The largest wind project of any manufacturing company in the United States won final approval and is expected to start construction next month.

Darien, Conn.-based hair-care manufacturer Zotos International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Company Ltd., got the green light for a $7 million, 3.3-megawatt on-site wind power project for its manufacturing plant in Geneva, N.Y. The project was unanimously approved by city officials on July 27.

“We appreciate the City of Geneva, its leaders, community residents, Ontario County, the State of New York and numerous others who worked so hard on this project over the past year and a half for their support and faith in Zotos’ future,” said Anthony Perdigao, vice president of plant operations at Zotos. “It’s incredibly exciting and gratifying to see our wind energy project move forward, and we are thrilled to showcase a success story for the new, green global economy.”

Perdigao credited last year’s federal stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), for covering 30 percent of the project’s costs. With this assistance, Zotos expects to see a return on investment in less than five years.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Zotos’ project is the largest wind project of any manufacturing company in the U.S. The Zotos project is comprised of two, 1,650 kW wind turbines that will generate approximately 7,500 mWh of renewable energy every year. As part of its project, Zotos will provide the city with a donation equivalent to 5 percent of the wind power generated on site.

The company is investing in wind power as part of a sustainability initiative aimed at powering its 670,000-square-foot plant with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2011. Studies show that more consumers are buying sustainable products and the company’s wind project is critical to meeting this demand.

Zotos has been a success story for 80 years. Founded in 1929 as a manufacturer of permanent hair dyes, Zotos is currently owned by Shiseido Americas Corp. and has more than 360 full-time employees and 310 flex-time employees at its Geneva, Ontario County, plant.

The company manufactures hair-care and styling-aid products under the Zotos, JOICO, ISO, Senscience, and Bain de Terre brand names, among others, and distributes them to salons and hair-care professionals as well as beauty retailers worldwide. Zotos continually invests in its manufacturing operations, including new aerosol and powder lines to manufacture personal-care products and a new plastic bottle blow-molding production facility.

Zotos has invested $30 million at its Geneva plant in just the past 3.5 years.

“We are incredibly proud to have Zotos take the lead in creating a cleaner, brighter and greener tomorrow,” Perdigao said.

Consultants from industrial solutions firm Plant-IQ; law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King; Environmental Design & Research P.C.; Epsilon Associates Inc.; Fisher Associates and Terrestrial Environmental Specialists Inc., among others, assisted Zotos with this effort.

Construction is expected to start in mid-August with the wind turbines fully operational by the end of the year.