Manufacturing and Sustainability

Appliance maker invests $13.5M in wind-energy projects

May 26, 2016
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An appliance maker in the region is planning to invest $13.5 million in new wind turbines to help power a pair of plants.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation said this week that it plans to build four wind turbines for its plants in Marion and Ottawa, Ohio.

The three Marion turbines, which are scheduled for completion in early 2017, are expected to offset Whirlpool's electric consumption by 19 percent, eliminating the equivalent of more than 9,000 tons of CO2.

Ottawa's turbine is expected to offset the plant's electrical consumption by 34 percent, once completed at the end of 2016.

All turbines will be built and financed by Findlay, Ohio-based 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's previous project in Findlay.

The 3-megawatt wind-energy project at the Findlay plant has been operating since January.

Ron Voglewede, global sustainability director for Whirlpool, said the planned projects demonstrate Whirlpool’s continued commitment to sustainable and renewable solutions.

"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.

Following the completion of the Marion and Ottawa projects, Whirlpool said many of its dishwashers, freezers and clothes dryers sold in the U.S. will be made, in part, with wind energy.

Voglewede said Whirlpool is continuing to “optimize and innovate” the appliances that are being built in Marion and Ottawa to further lower their energy and water consumption, which will help consumers reduce their environmental footprints and improve performance.

Whirlpool expects its latest projects will make it one of the largest “Fortune 500” consumers of on-site wind energy in the U.S.

Collectively, the company said it will be generating enough clean energy to power more than 2,400 average American homes.

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