Neslté is operating its first wind-powered facility at the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) bottling plant in Cabazon, Calif. Earlier this year, the company began operating two wine turbines to help power its bottled water plant, which produces Arrowhead and Nestle Pure Life brands.
The company’s effort plays into its long-term renewable energy plan, says Larry Lawrence, Nestlé Waters’ natural resource manager for the Southwestern United States.
“The wind project really started to make a lot sense for us in this particular site simply because it’s a really good wind resource,” says Lawrence, “And it fits nicely in with our goals for eventually going to 100 percent renewable energy.”
Location played a large role in the placement of these wind turbines. They sit along the I-10 corridor in Southern California where there is high wind potential. The two 1.6 megawatt GE wind turbines are expected to produce an average of 12.9 million kilowatt hours annually—powering the equivalent of 1,100 U.S. homes. The project also will save 7,320 tons of CO2 emissions, offsetting the equivalent emissions from 20,687 oil barrels and saving the equivalent of 1,897 acres of trees, according to the company.
The turbines are expected to provide 30 percent of the plant’s power per year, notes Lawrence, though that is dependent on the wind resource available, which could vary.
NWNA initially looked into wind power as an energy source in 2011 and decided to partner with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Foundation Windpower to site and host and commission the wind turbines.
Foundation Windpower installs, operates and owns the wind turbines, and its associated environmental attributes, and NWNA purchases the power produced directly and receives renewable energy credits from the organization, reducing the company’s power needs from the Southern California power grid, according to the company.
Wind power is a sought-after energy source, according to Lawrence, who found out through this process that there was a great global demand for wind turbines as companies are choosing wind power if possible over other renewable resources such as solar power.
“This is Nestlé’s first ever wind project globally,” he says. “Nestlé has certainly gotten behind using renewable energy sources and I’m very proud of the company for doing these types of projects and continuing to look at other locations and other types of renewable energy sources that we can use.”
NWNA is no stranger to acting sustainably and being a leader in the industry when it comes to innovation. NWNA was the first beverage manufacturer in the U.S. to build U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified plants, for example. In 2004, the Cabazon plant earned a LEED Silver Rating. Today, the company has 10 LEED-certified facilities, covering 3.7 million square feet and diverting 22,000 tons of waste material from landfills, according to the company.