We’re mighty proud of our LEED Platinum Certified headquarters, especially our on-site Wind Turbine, which, under optimal conditions, can produce up to 125 million Kilowatt-Hours of energy in a year. Unfortunately, until we manage to build a weather machine to keep a steady breeze blowing 24/7, 365 days a year, there are just going to be days when the turbine just doesn’t turn.
That mostly is an exception though. Thanks to the turbine, besides producing enough power to fulfill the usage needs of our entire facility including a data center, we often are a net energy producer and supply others in our area with energy via the wind. In the first quarter of 2012, we produced 291,719kWh of electricity, which was 3% more than the 282,335kWh we consumed. As recently as October, we produced 92,367kWh versus 66,802kWh consumed, with that 38% net energy production being put back on the grid to power, on average, a neighborhood of about 40 homes.
While the wind isn’t always blowing, our agreement with Excelon to supply us with REC’s (Renewable Energy Certificates, each of which effectively represent 1 megawatt of energy) ensures that when the power needs to flow the other direction, it was generated by another wind turbine located elsewhere. This way, even when wind conditions aren’t optimal at our location, the energy we’re using still effectively comes from a green, renewable, emissions-free source.
To learn more about OWC’s wind turbine and all of our high-efficiency, LEED facility aspects, visit our “Green” page.