Whirlpool Corporation (WHR), the world's largest global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances broke ground today on the Findlay Wind Farm, an $18 million "Wind for Industry" project, financed by One Energy, which provides energy solutions for large electric consumers.
The wind farm will have five wind turbines with Whirlpool utilizing two and nearby Ball Company using three. Through clean, renewable wind energy producing zero greenhouse gas emissions, the turbines are expected to offset an estimated 22% of the Whirlpool's electric consumption. Each turbine is expected to generate enough electricity equivalent to the amount required to power 300-400 average homes.
"We're excited to join One Energy and the Findlay community for this project," said Dale Laws, Vice President Findlay Operations, Whirlpool Corporation. "For more than 40 years, Whirlpool Corporation has made a number of significant advancements in sustainability. The Findlay Wind Farm project is an example of how global companies like Whirlpool can make a positive impact at the local level, by minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment."
For each turbine, Whirlpool Corporation will create one $5,000 Megawatt Scholarship to be awarded each year the turbine is in operation. Two scholarships (one per turbine) will be awarded annually to a graduating high school senior from the local school districts. The scholarships are designed to encourage education in the technologies and industries of the future. Eligible students will be those seeking a two or four year technical degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at an accredited college.
In recognition of the company's commitment to scholarships, Goldwind America, the supplier of the wind turbines for this project, announced the creation of one $500 "Megawatt Scholarship" per wind turbine per year for local students pursuing STEM degrees. In addition, Ohio Logistics, who played a large role in the land transactions that made this project possible, announced a $1,000 per year "Megawatt Scholarship" for local students pursuing STEM degrees.
During the groundbreaking One Energy also announced plans for two paved basketball courts and one walking path to be installed by spring 2016. "One Energy is pleased to provide these amenities to the community of Findlay in celebration and recognition of this wind farm," said Jereme Kent, general manager, One Energy.
"We're making positive progress on improving our operations' footprint, while manufacturing energy efficient products,"said Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director, Whirlpool Corporation. "The dishwashers we make in Findlay are designed to lower energy and water consumption for our consumers while improving performance, the same as the Findlay Wind Farm will do for our plant."
Feasibility studies were conducted to ensure responsible siting by assessing any potential impacts of turbine installation, including sound propagation and environmental impact. Construction is scheduled to begin immediately and the turbines are expected to be operational beginning late this year.