Construction continues on the Pitt Ohio’s brand-new 100,000-square-foot Chevrolet Boulevard trucking terminal with recently added structures turning heads for its futuristic design.
It turns out the vertical wind turbines are part of the Pittsburgh-based trucking company’s $3.3 million investment to build the facility’s microgrid, which will also include solar panels in an effort to make the facility zero net.
“Sustainability is our core value,” Pitt Ohio Director of Sustainability and Business Intelligence Justine Russo said. “It’s not just the right way of doing business, but it’s also good for the community and for our employees. We’re lucky our owner was very invested in scaling up, so the new Parma facility is going to have 700 solar panels and eight wind turbines.
“We’re really excited to see how much renewable energy we’re able to create and store. And we’re really hoping this will be a zero net facility that’s not pulling any energy off the grid.”
Utilizing both solar energy and wind energy generation through a 495-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic system and eight vertical wind turbines that add 48 kW to the system, the microgrid will house 730 kilowatt hours of energy storage.
The innovative system enables the trucking company to participate in net metering programs, while also providing backup energy during grid disturbances.
“Previously we put a small microgrid in at our Harmar, Pennsylvania facility that handles about a third of the energy requirements,” Russo said. “Also, we can store the renewable energies rather than trying to use them on demand.
“The goal eventually is to figure out how we can produce enough energy to charge an electric truck off the renewable energy microgrid. We are not there yet, but that’s a long-term goal. That’s probably the best way to reduce freight trucking carbon emissions.”
As far as the new Parma location, the 100-dock facility is expected to be completed in June. Pitt Ohio is moving from its current Cleveland location.
“We’re really excited to really bring a state-of-the-art facility to Parma,” Russo said. “We’re looking forward to see how we can scale up not just in the freight market and bring on new business, but also how we can do it in a way that’s good for the community.”