COLCHESTER, Vt. — Nokian Tyres North America has installed solar panels at its North American distribution center in Colchester to help power the 200,000-sq.-ft. facility.
Nokian North America, the North American subsidiary of Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C., said the solar installation should generate approximately 427,500 kWh in energy. That amount represents 110 percent of the facility's annual usage, allowing Nokian to send excess energy to the renewable power grid.
Hans Dyhrman, director of marketing of Nokian North America, said the company works constantly to protect the planet "and wants to ensure we are doing everything possible to contribute to our long-term work towards environmental sustainability.
"Not only will this project contribute to keeping business costs at a minimum, but it will assist in our efforts to generate clean and renewable energy," Mr. Dhyrman said.
Nokian's sustainability goals for 2020 include a significant reduction of rolling resistance in products, cutting C02 emissions from production by 20 percent and auditing all of its natural rubber products.
The facility holds around 350,000 passenger car tires, according to the company.
The Nokian, Finland-based tire maker is in the process of moving its North American headquarters from Colchester to Nashville, Tenn., about 150 miles west of Dayton, Tenn., where the company is building its first U.S. plant. That moved was announced earlier this year.
Some employees already have relocated to Nashville, and others have been hired. The transition is slated to be completed by April 2019.
Nokian, ranked No. 21 in Tire Business' 2018 Global Tire Rankings with 2017 tire sales of $1.65 billion, announced plans in 2017 to build the 830,000-sq.-ft. plant.
The facility, on track to begin production in early 2020, will concentrate on producing passenger, SUV and light truck tires specifically for North American consumers. The eventual capacity is expected to be 4 million tires per year. The project also includes warehousing for up to 600,000 tires.