Kohler Co., a manufacturing company based out of Kohler, Wis., has announced a 15-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of energy annually from the Diamond Vista wind farm near Salina, Kan.
Enel Green Power North America will construct the project this year and will be the long-term owner and operator of the nearly 300 MW facility. Enel acquired Diamond Vista from Kansas-based developer Tradewind Energy.
Founded in 1873, Kohler Co. – a privately held company with more than 35,000 associates – makes kitchen and bath products, engines and power systems, and cabinetry and tile.
“We are pleased to partner with the Diamond Vista wind project to play a leading role in reducing fossil-fuel usage to power the U.S. electrical grid,” says Rob Zimmerman, director of sustainability at Kohler Co. “This project is one component of a comprehensive strategy Kohler has created to achieve its overall goal of being net zero in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2035. In addition to this investment, we will continue to drive energy efficiency in our manufacturing processes, buildings and truck fleet; install on-site renewable energy projects; test and implement new manufacturing technologies; and develop new products and materials that require less energy to make.”
The project, which is currently under construction, is expected to begin operations by the end of this year. In selecting this project, Kohler evaluated the power generation needed to compensate for its annual kilowatt-hour consumption, as well as the financial and environmental benefits.
Kohler’s share of the expected generated power from Diamond Vista will be enough to power nearly 40,000 homes. When the project comes online, Kohler’s share will be sold to the wholesale electric market, and the company will receive renewable energy credits equaling the total annual electricity needs for its 85 manufacturing facilities, offices and warehouses in the U.S. and Canada. Globally, the project will reduce Kohler’s greenhouse-gas emissions footprint by 26%, the company says.