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JTEKT Machinery's Groundbreaking Ceremony for Green Manufacturing Initiative

Oct 29, 2019

Toyoda Ground Breaking Ceremony

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (October 29, 2019) - JTEKT Machinery Americas Corporation celebrated the groundbreaking of the company’s largest environmental initiative: 28,328 square meters of land consisting of 5,040 individual solar panels. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on August 23, 2019 at the company’s headquarters in Arlington Heights, IL where the company’s executives and employees, vendor partners, and local politicians gathered to announce and celebrate the company’s largest green initiative.

JTEKT Machinery has been one of the world leaders of machine tool manufacturing over the last 75 years and offers quality tools and technologies. The company elevates the standards of manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace, construction, and energy industries. Originally founded in 1941 for the production lines of Toyota Motors, the products have expanded from metal grinding and milling technology to the advanced capabilities of gear skiving. The company consists of approximately 224 employees and is a subsidiary of the machine tool division of JTEKT Corporation. In 2016, JTEKT established the Environmental Challenge 2050 that expresses a goal of minimizing environmental burdens and maximizing environmental value across the entire JTEKT group. 

The company’s new eco-friendly endeavor will be located at the corporate headquarters in Arlington Heights, IL and take cover approximately 28,328 square meters of land that will consist of 5,040 individual solar panels. Once installed, the system in its entirety will be able to produce 2.3 million MW hours of power, equating to a yearly CO2 offset of 1,819 metric tons and a coal offset of almost 2 million tons/year. Supported by a 25-year maintenance warranty, the solar field will fix property taxes and provide over $185 million in energy cost savings over its lifetime.

According to Howard Michael, President and COO of JTEKT Machinery, “The solar panels will drastically offset our annual global power consumption and have an immense impact on our environmental footprint and electrical savings for decades to come.”

Following Howard Michael’s speech was Thomas Hayes, Mayor of Arlington Heights who stated that the solar panel installations will be welcome in the village. “This ecofriendly, green initiative will serve as a model for not only our businesses but for our residents to follow as well,” said Thomas Hayes.

The solar panels are going to be provided and built by GRNE Solar from neighboring city Palatine, Illinois. The project began when Eric Peterman, CEO of GRNE Solar, began working with Mark Hoeffer, Facilities Manager at JTEKT Machinery, about 18 months ago. A relationship developed and discussions were held about how a solar product would look like for JTEKT Machinery to ensure a system designed to fit the company’s needs.

Eric Peterman provided a brief explanation about how solar works by stating that, “The sun beats on the solar panels, makes the energy, goes through the inverter, then goes to the existing electrical service to power any loads that you have on the facility.” The size of the solar system being installed is enough to cover JTEKT Machinery's baseload and is equivalent to powering about 230 homes. “All of the energy being produced is going to the direct benefit of JTEKT Machinery,” Peterman stated.

The installation of the solar panels is currently underway and is expected to be completed sometime in the winter months. The solar panels are being placed in the company’s property that has not been used for more than 20 years. Howard Michael explained that over the years, people and other companies have asked what JTEKT Machinery plans to do with the land and whether they would sell it. Discussions of expanding the offices into that land also came about, but deciding to use it for solar panels fits with the corporate environmental action plan and, as Howard Michael stated, “it just feels right and is the best solution and choice for us.”

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