Whirlpool, the kitchen and laundry appliance manufacturer, had big plans last year for it’s Greenville facility, and, as of today, those plans are nearly complete.
In partnership with One Energy Enterprises, Whirlpool has decided to lessen their power grid use and turn the windy areas of Ohio to their advantage.
Following successful turbine construction projects in Findlay and Marion, the corporation has now turned its attention to their Greenville facility, constructing three turbines, which, in total, will amass enough electricity to power nine-hundred homes.
The switch will undoubtedly be beneficial to the company as they’ll own the rights to the energy they use, which will dramatically cut spending on the facility’s electric bill. What’s more, the energy they use will be renewable and virtually limitless. The average lifespan of a modern wind turbine is 20-25 years, so this is quite a long term investment for the fortune 500 company to make.
One can only imagine what kind of profit margin that would create for the manufacturing and testing costs for Whirlpool’s vast supply of appliances. The environmental benefits will also be a large factor in cutting down air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions in the location, which should benefit the surrounding spaces with cleaner air.
Additionally, the switch may help the Greenville community to get their electricity at a cheaper rate. With such a large, nine-hundred home, decrease for demand of fossil fuel-based electricity, the costs should theoretically go down for other users within the community.
Reception for more wind turbines in the area has been mixed over the years as a good number of community members have criticized wind turbine installation for reasons pointing to their size and the whistling noises that they can make.
However, the smaller sized three turbines along with the location of the turbines in relation to housing should offset the noise issue. The size of the turbines are definitely gargantuan in relation to onlookers, but the decision to go with three, smaller and well-placed turbines should help the area adjust to their presence.
With such a large-scale investment presenting such a large benefit for Whirlpool, it raises the question of why other manufacturing and automation companies haven’t invested in wind energy as well, especially when the rural, flat landscapes of Ohio have so much of it to offer.
Whirlpool can perhaps afford to go out on a limb like this because of their past successes as a company and the foreseeable longevity of the demand for their products, but for newer organizations who use less power, switching to wind energy may come off as a risky decision with a high, up-front cost.
However, the savings for Whirlpool will no doubt be vast for the next 2 decades as testing and building their appliances definitely requires a lot of energy, and they’ll have that energy at a profit. Additionally, at least some environmental benefits will be distributed to the local community.
This experimental way of cutting costs is not something that has often been adopted by other large, US corporations and you could say that Whirlpool is one of the first to truly pursue the option to this magnitude. We’ll have to see if other businesses adopt this strategy further down the line.
Until then, when you’re watching your washing machine spin, you can think of how that machine could have been partially created by the wind, itself.