The use of wind to create energy can be traced back to some of our earliest recorded history. Wind was used to propel boats down the Nile river in 5000 BC while windmills were pumping water in China as early as 200 BC. And in a windy place like Findlay, Ohio, wind power has become a renewable energy source for local manufacturing plants.
Many of us have driven past the five massive wind turbines on the north side of town without knowing much about them. The turbines began operating in January of this year after nearly six months of planning, designing and construction at the cost of $3.5 million each. With help from Lauren Powell, PR Manager for One Energy in Findlay, we are able to provide you with interesting facts about the turbines sitting on what is now known as the North Findlay Wind Campus.
Who is One Energy™ and what do they do?
“One Energy started six years ago by providing Wind For Industry (insert registered trademark sign here) solutions for large electrical consumers, something no other company does. To sum it up, what we do allows a company to control their own energy costs,” Powell said. One Energy does this through the use of wind turbines.
On the North Findlay Wind campus, two turbines help power Whirlpool Corporation and three power Ball Corporation, providing approximately 15 percent of the energy the Findlay Whirlpool plant uses and approximately 20 percent of Ball Corporation’s.
How do the turbines work?
Wind turbines utilize renewable energy. “Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that is collected from resources which are naturally replenished…such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat,” Lauren explained. While the turbines utilize wind, the wind speeds must be between 6 and 7 miles per hour for the blades to begin rotating. The rotating blades then cause the generator to turn, which is where mechanical energy is turned into electricity. The electricity travels down the tower into the ground through cables. The cables finally reach a transformer, which steps the power up or down depending on the needs of the factory.
A Community Resource
One Energy has been active in our schools, educating local students about the wind turbines and providing tours of the North Findlay Wind Campus. Additionally, One Energy has teamed up with Whirlpool Corporation and Ball Corporation to award Megawatt Scholarships to local high school seniors pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Finally, with plans to build a community park under the turbines for people of all ages to enjoy, One Energy is truly an asset to the Findlay community.