On-Site Windpower Generates Electricity for Manufacturer

by | Dec 18, 2012

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SC Johnson, a maker of household cleaning products, today activated two new wind turbines at its Waxdale manufacturing facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wis.

The wind turbines will produce about 8 million kWh of electricity annually. Combined with two cogeneration turbines that have been in place since the mid-2000s, the facility is now able to produce an average of 100 percent of its electrical energy onsite.

The 415-foot wind turbines at Waxdale support 135-foot-long blades. Each turbine features a permanent magnet, gearless generator which means less maintenance and higher energy yields than the more traditional gearbox-type system.

In the mid-2000s, two cogeneration systems were put in place that use waste methane gas from a nearby public landfill and clean burning natural gas to generate 85 percent of the facility’s electrical energy. The new wind turbines will provide the remaining 15 percent.

A 262-foot-tall wind turbine in the Netherlands helps power the SC Johnson European manufacturing facility, in addition to SWIFT mini turbines at its Racine, Wis., headquarters and Lowell, Ark., sales office.

Since 2000, SC Johnson has worked to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent. In Bay City, Michigan, nearly half of the electricity needed to operate the SC Johnson plant now comes from offsite wind power.

At the SC Johnson plant in Medan, Indonesia, waste palm shells are used as a replacement for diesel fuel. It transfers a waste product back into the value chain with minimal impact and has reduced local diesel fuel use by 80 percent.

In May 2012, the company launched a new biofuel initiative at its factory in Surabaya, Indonesia using waste husks from rice grains as a fuel source. Consuming rice husks rather than diesel fuel, the Surabaya boiler is expected to generate about 6,000,000 kcal per hour to heat water used in mosquito coil production.

Several solar projects are helping provide hot water heating for the company’s facility in Shanghai. One provides hot water for food service and other office needs. Solar- heated waste water from the facility’s steam piping network aids aerosol production.

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