With the push of a button and after a short wait, the new wind turbines at the SC Johnson Waxdale plant began steadily turning and providing renewable energy Tuesday.
The addition of wind power to the plant’s existing energy production means that the facility is now able to produce an average of 100 percent of its electrical energy onsite, reducing the plant's carbon emissions by 6,000 metric tons annually, according to the company.
The wind turbines, with their 135-foot-long blades, will produce about eight million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, enough to power 700 homes in a year.
Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson chairman and CEO, said the wind turbines were a personal passion of his and stand as a testament to the company’s longtime commitment to the environment.
“Every time somebody comes into our entrance of this facility, they can’t help but get a giant visual reminder of a commitment that we have made as a company to environmental progress,” he said.
Johnson dedicated the turbines in honor of his mother and father.
“These wind turbines are just one part of my family’s and the company’s decades long and strong commitment to improving the environment,” Johnson said, noting that his father was inducted into Fortune Magazine’s Hall of Fame for his environmental leadership and his mother is a naturalist.
The turbines are the largest onsite, company-owned wind turbine manufacturing project in the Midwest.
With energy from the new wind turbines in addition to energy from the two cogeneration turbines, which uses methane gas from the nearby landfill and clean-burning natural gas, the facility is now able to produce an average of 100 percent of its electrical energy onsite.
Mount Pleasant village officials attended the commissioning of the wind turbines.