Auto Recycler Sees Opportunities in New Energy Sources

Cleveland company installs wind turbine to reduce energy costs.

December 3, 2009

Pearl Road Auto Parts, a Cleveland-based auto recycling facility, may look like a conventional auto parts recycling center. However, the company, which has been a family owned facility for four generations, has seen the opportunities afforded with a new business – wind energy. Under Jon Kaplan, owner of Pearl Road, the company has created a new company to design, construct and sell wind turbines.

While selling the turbines is the goal of the newly formed company, PearlWind, LLC, Pearl Road Auto also is putting its support behind the concept by installing and operating a wind turbine on its property.

Late last month the company completed the installation of a 120-kilowatt turbine at its five-acre salvage yard. The turbine soars around 140 feet in the air, and is visible from the surrounding highways.

While being environmentally conscious is one way to view the new turbine, Kaplan says that the initial goal of installing the turbine was the cost savings. “I have been thinking about installing a turbine for years,” Kaplan says.

The wind turbine, he estimates, will pay all the company’s electricity needs, with the possibility of selling additional power to local power companies.

To pay for the turbine, Kaplan received grant money from various sources, including about $150,000 from the Ohio Department of Development’s Advanced Energy Office. The cost of the turbine in total is around $400,000 installed.

Kaplan estimates that the savings obtained by using the wind turbine will result in a payback of slightly less than eight years.