Whirlpool Corp. has announced plans to build wind turbines to help power its Marion and Ottawa plants in Ohio, a $13.5 million total investment that will build upon the company’s 46 year commitment to advances in sustainable manufacturing.
The completion of these projects has the potential to make Whirlpool Corp. one of the largest Fortune 500 consumers of on-site wind energy in the United States.
“Whirlpool Corporation is proud to be a global leader in sustainable on-site energy generation for manufacturing, and this project is the latest to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable and renewable solutions,” said Ron Voglewede, company Global Sustainability Director. “In addition to lowering our operational footprint and costs, we are continuing to optimize and innovate the appliances that are being built in Marion and Ottawa to lower energy and water consumption to help our consumers reduce their environmental footprints, while improving performance.”
The three Marion turbines — which are scheduled for completion in early 2017 — are expected to offset Whirlpool’s electric consumption by 19%, eliminating the equivalent of more than 9,000 tons of CO2. Similarly, Ottawa’s turbine is expected to offset the plant’s electrical consumption by 34%, once completed at the end of 2016. All turbines will be built and financed by One Energy as part of its “Wind for Industry” project. The turbines will be the same Goldwind 1.5 megawatt turbines that were used for Whirlpool Corp’s previous project in Findlay, Ohio. The 3-MW wind farm project at the Findlay plant has been operating since January 2016.
Following the completion of the Marion and Ottawa projects, many dishwashers, freezers, and clothes dryers manufactured by Whirlpool and sold in the United States will be made, in part, with wind energy.
“These wind-farm projects are a great example of how global companies can make an environmental impact on a local level by investing in sustainable operations,” Voglewede said.
As part of this local commitment, Whirlpool will also create one $5,000 Megawatt STEM Scholarship per wind turbine to be awarded annually to a graduating senior from local Marion and Ottawa high schools as a way to inspire education in the technologies and industries of the future.