HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – This summer a 1.168-megawatt solar array was installed in Huntington and now provides power to a massive manufacturing plant on Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ local campus.

Bendix said the solar array decreases its reliance on the local power grid and reducing the company’s carbon footprint in pursuit of sustainability. The Huntington solar array will contribute a 3% decrease to Bendix’s carbon footprint across North America.

“Watching this come together over the past few months has been amazing, and it’s a genuine thrill to look out there next to the parking lot and see that what was once a vision of stepping toward a greener future is now a reality,” said Bill Schubert, Bendix corporate manager, environmental and sustainability. “Those solar panels soaking up the Indiana sunshine – even on cloudy days – will satisfy about 30% of Huntington Plant 1’s energy requirements and should decrease the campus’ carbon footprint by nearly 19% – about the equivalent of burning through more than 122,000 gallons of gasoline.”

Bendix said its solar installation produces electricity through 2,612 450-watt panels. During the plant’s normal hours of operation, all of the energy generated will be used by the facility. However, during nonworking hours, such as weekends and holidays, it will be able to send excess energy back to the electrical grid. This will increase the utility’s green energy and reducing Bendix’s utility costs. At full capacity, the company said the solar project produces 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, delivering an estimated $140,000 in annual electric utility savings.

“We’re not alone in taking this route,” Schubert noted. “The new 1.168-megawatt array at Bendix is one of more than 4,700 residential and commercial installations across Indiana now providing the state with more than 473 megawatts of installed solar capacity. And when you look at the life expectancy of this array – about 30 years – it becomes even more apparent that there’s potential for a significant return on investment in the form of cost-free electricity once the project is amortized.”

Bendix, the North American leader in the design, development, and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking solutions for commercial vehicles, is a subsidiary of Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse. The solar project is a key element of the company’s overall climate strategy.

Over the past decade, Bendix said it has pursued and adopted the environmental strategies of its parent company, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems.

Indianapolis-based PSG Energy Group managed construction of the array.